Altria Group (NYS: MO) reported earnings on Jan. 31. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Altria Group beat expectations on revenues and beat slightly on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew slightly and GAAP earnings per share grew significantly.


Gross margins shrank, operating margins dropped, net margins grew.

Revenue details
Altria Group logged revenue of $4.46 billion. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see net sales of $4.34 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 2.6% higher than the prior-year quarter's $4.35 billion.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.55. The 12 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.54 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.55 for Q4 were 34% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.41 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 53.4%, 140 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 39.9%, 280 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 24.7%, 550 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $4.04 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.53.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $17.65 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.38.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 8,632 members out of 8,959 rating the stock outperform, and 327 members rating it underperform. Among 2,206 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 2,170 give Altria Group a green thumbs-up, and 36 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Altria Group is outperform, with an average price target of $35.31.

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The article Altria Group Beats on Both Top and Bottom Lines originally appeared on Fool.com.

Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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