Interest expense was $6.7 million during the 2012 first quarter, down slightly from the prior-year period. Compared with the first quarter of 2011, average borrowings declined in the 2012 first quarter.
Net income attributable to common shareholders for the 2012 first quarter was $1.3 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, compared with $22.7 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2011. The adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders for the 2012 first quarter was $0.04 per diluted share, excluding special charges, compared with adjusted earnings of $0.29 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2011. A reconciliation of reported results to adjusted results excluding special charges is available in the supplementary financial data included in this press release.
Cash used by operating activities was $11.0 million during the first quarter of 2012, compared with $28.6 million used in the prior-year quarter. Cash flow in the 2011 first quarter benefited from the return of $28.1 million in cash deposits for precious metal leases. There were no cash deposits related to precious metal leases during the first quarter of 2012, and no deposit-related impact on cash flow. The decrease in cash used by operating activities during the quarter was driven by lower cash used in inventory and receivables.
The Company has refined its methodology for the allocation of corporate expenses to its reportable segments beginning with the 2012 first quarter to better align segment reporting to the current manner in which strategic decisions are made and resources allocated. Prior-period results have been adjusted to be consistent with the new methodology. The effect of the change was to reduce unallocated corporate expenses, with a corresponding increase in total segment expenses. This change has no net effect on the consolidated income reported by the Company. Prior-year segment income and unallocated corporate expenses shown in the tables within this press release have been adjusted to reflect the current allocation methodology. Income by segment for the prior eight quarters, adjusted to reflect the new allocation methodology, is shown in the supplementary table included in this press release.