With that, let me turn it over to Tony.
Anthony J. Allott
Thanks, Kim. Welcome, everyone, to our first quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. Our agenda for this morning is to focus on the financial performance for the first quarter and to review our outlook for 2012. After these prepared remarks, Bob, Adam and I will be pleased to answer any questions.
As you saw in the press release, we're off to a strong start in the first quarter delivering adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.50, which exceeded the high end of our estimated range of $0.42 to $0.47 and was well above the same quarter of the prior year, which had previously been a record first quarter. We also took the opportunity during the quarter to raise new money in the bond market to repay outstanding higher rate debt, extend our maturities and to make voluntary contributions to fully fund our company sponsored pension plans.
While its early days and the first quarter is seasonally slow quarter, we're pleased with the performance of our businesses as they each exceeded the first quarter of 2011 results. Volume was stable or growing across much of our business with benefits coming from our 2011 acquisitions and continued progress on operational improvements in certain overhead cost reductions.
While we certainly have a ways to go, we're pleased with our plastic container performance with steady improvement in operating performance in the quarter, while also benefiting from the year-over-year resin pass-through comparison. Equally, we view the sequential improvement in operating performance as a good sign, although we do expect future improvement will not occur in a straight-line manner. As a result of the strength of our first quarter performance and our positive outlook for the rest of the year, we have confirmed our full year guidance for adjusted earnings per diluted share in a range of $2.80 to $2.90.