Interest Expense, Net
Interest expense, net for the 2012 first quarter was $15.7 million, which included $1.4 million of non-cash costs for terminated interest rate swap contracts, compared to $15.9 million for the 2011 first quarter, which included $1.9 million for such contracts. Although these contracts were terminated prior to 2011, the related costs are being amortized over the original term of the swap contracts.
The 2012 first quarter income tax benefit of $6.7 million resulted in an effective tax rate of 36 percent compared to a benefit resulting in a 40 percent effective tax rate in the 2011 first quarter. The higher rate in 2011 was the result of an additional benefit of about $1.0 million primarily related to adjustments of uncertain tax positions.Use of Non-GAAP Measures The Company presents adjusted income (loss) from operations, adjusted operating margin, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin, adjusted net income (loss), adjusted net income (loss) per share, free cash flow and net debt as non-GAAP measures. Adjusted income (loss) from operations represents income (loss) from operations excluding restructuring. This amount divided by net sales is adjusted operating margin. Adjusted EBITDA represents income (loss) from operations excluding restructuring, depreciation and amortization. This amount divided by net sales is adjusted EBITDA margin. The Company presents adjusted income (loss) from operations, adjusted operating margin, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin because these are measures management believes are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of financial performance. Adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted net income (loss) per share exclude restructuring, certain costs from settled interest rate swap contracts, the income tax effects of these excluded items and any tax adjustment for the repatriation of earnings. These items are excluded because they are not considered indicative of recurring operations. Free cash flow represents cash flows from operating activities less capital expenditures. It is presented as a measurement of cash flows because management believes it is commonly used by the investment community. Net debt represents total debt less cash and cash equivalents. Net debt is commonly used by the investment community as a measure of indebtedness. These non-GAAP measures have limitations as analytical tools, and securities analysts, investors and other interested parties should not consider any of these non-GAAP measures in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of the Company's results as reported under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States ("GAAP"). These non-GAAP measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies.