MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Piper Jaffray Cos. said Wednesday that first-quarter net income more than tripled, helped by lower expenses.

The Minneapolis-based firm posted a profit of $9 million, or 57 cents per share, compared with $2.5 million, or 15 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding losses related to its shuttered Hong Kong capital markets business and an asset management division that it plans to sell, Piper posted a profit from continuing operations of 60 cents per share, up from 33 cents per share a year ago.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $109.5 million, hurt by a 16 percent drop in investment banking revenue.

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