I'll turn it over to Scott, and we'll talk about the quarter. And then the Ray will provide color on our operations. And I'll return with comments on our Aerospace business and the outlook for 2012. Scott?
Scott C. Morrison
Thanks, John. Ball's comparable diluted earnings per share from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2012 were $0.63 versus last year's $0.58, an increase of nearly 9%.
For the first quarter, the following factors contributed to these results: higher European and specialty can volumes; solid program performance in our Aerospace business; a lower share count; and a lower tax rate.For a complete summary of the first quarter results on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis, please refer to the notes section of today's earnings release. The key financial metrics for 2012 that I gave you in January are all the same other than the tax rate. Taking into account certain tax benefits achieved in the first quarter and those expected later in the year, the full year effective tax rate will now be approximately 30% for the full year 2012. Other than that one change, everything else looks the same. Interest expense will remain at approximately $175 million. Full year 2012 CapEx is still expected to be in the range of $400 million. And as always, the timing of future projects will impact actual spending, so we'll keep you updated as the year progresses. And we still expect 2012 free cash flow in the range of $450 million. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com
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