Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. on Thursday said that its first-quarter earnings were more than double that of a year ago, but the results still fell short of Wall Street expectations.

The Los Angeles processor of metal products for the aerospace, energy and construction industries reported net income of $44.7 million (60 cents per share), compared with $20.1 million (27 cents) a year earlier. Revenue fell 7 percent to $1.45 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected per-share net income of 64 cents on revenue of nearly $1.49 billion.

Reliance said it expects modest improvements in second quarter, with earnings per share in a range of 70 to 80 cents as product demand recovers. Analysts are expecting second-quarter profit of 92 cents per share on average.

"We continue to anticipate that demand for most of our products will recover slowly and steadily as the year progresses, with the exception of nonresidential construction," said Chief Executive David Hannah in a press release, but warned of the possibility of downward pressure on prices in the second half of the year.

Shares closed down $2.87, or 5 percent, to $50.70 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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