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Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

Plant Sale Boosts Ameron’s Quarter

Ameron International Corp. on Monday said that its per-share profit rose 89 percent in the fourth quarter, largely from the sale of its share in a steel mini-mill. But shares fell sharply in morning trading.

The Pasadena pipe maker, which did not report net income totals for the quarter, said its per-share profit was $2.88 in the quarter ended Nov. 30, compared with $1.53 a year earlier. Sales fell 9.6 percent to less than $124 million.

The quarter included a $48.4 million pretax gain on the sale of Tamco, the company’s 50 percent-owned steel mini-mill. The company took a pretax expense of $900,000 related to an unexpected judgment by a French appeals court of a case dating back to 1996. The company did not provide details about the lawsuit.

“We are pleased with the company’s performance, especially given the challenging market conditions which continued to negatively impact Ameron’s businesses throughout 2010,” Chief Executive James S. Marlen said in a statement.

Full-year net income was $46.3 million ($5 a share), compared with $33.3 million ($3.61 a share) in fiscal 2009. Sales fell 8 percent to $503 million.

Ameron has been fighting criticism of its management by New York City hedge fund Barington Capital Group, which earlier this month told the board that Marlen was overpaid and had not taken action to sell off non-core businesses to increase shareholder value. The board responded that it was satisfied with Marlen’s performance, but would take steps to better disclose ties that his three sons have to Ameron and companies doing business with it.

Shares closed down $5.39, or 7 percent, to $68.97 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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