Shares in Ameron International Corp. dropped as much as 25 percent Wednesday after the company reported strong first quarter earnings that missed Wall Street expectations.

Ameron reported net income for the period ended March 2 of $9.7 million ($1.07 per share), well short of the $1.30 per share analysts were expecting, according to a poll by Thomson Financial. The income was up 14 percent from $8.5 million (94 cents) in the same period a year earlier.

Sales for the Pasadena-based industrial pipeline equipment maker gained 24 percent to $150 million ahead of Wall Street's expectations of $139 million.

Ameron said that the quarterly numbers were helped by the strength of its fiberglass-composite pipe group and its Hawaiian ready-mix concrete and aggregate business. Sales for the fiberglass-composite pipe group surged 42 percent during the quarter.

Shares in Ameron were down 23 percent to $94.58 in early trading Wednesday.

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