Listeners should also be aware that today’s discussion includes references to non-GAAP financial measures, which management believes are useful to an understanding of our business. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to the most comparable GAAP measure will be included with our earnings release and posted on our website at investor.vcaantech.com. Our earnings and guidance releases are available on our website at investor.vcaantech.com. In addition, an audio file of this conference call will be available on our website for a period of 3 months.
I would now like to turn the conference over to your host for today, Mr. Tom Fuller, Chief Financial Officer. Sir, you may begin.
Tomas W. Fuller
Thank you, Mary, and thank you, all, for joining us on our first quarter 2012 earnings call. Today, we reported adjusted fully diluted earnings per share of $0.34 which is $0.01 above earnings per share last year of $0.33. Our GAAP earnings was $0.40 which includes a $5.7 million nontax credit or $0.06 per share gain on exercise of our option to acquire the remaining 80% interest in AVC up in Canada on February 1 of this year. I'll quickly point out that the nontax nature of that credit accounts were lower than normal effective tax rates for the quarter of 32.5% versus a normalized rate of around 39.5%.Our Laboratory and Hospital segment had a very good quarter, both are doing very well, both quantitatively and quantitatively. Operating income was both -- was up in both segments. As importantly, our internal growth rates continued to improve, as is our same stores margins were up in both segments. Internal growth rates for the quarter, Laboratory was up 6.5% and our Hospital was up 3.5%. Some of that growth is due to the extra business day on leap year of about 1.3%. So on an adjusted basis, 5.2% for the Laboratory is a nice improvement over the 2.2% and 2.3% in Q3 and Q4 of last year, and our Hospital growth rate of 2.2% is a nice improvement over the 1% and 1.1% in Q3 and Q4 of 2011.