The format of today's call will first be an overview by Brian Robinson of our second quarter. Secondly, Greg Kenny will provide comments on the company's third quarter 2012 outlook and full year business trends, followed by a question-and-answer period.
Before we get started, I wanted to call your attention to our Safe Harbor provisions regarding forward-looking statements and company-defined non-GAAP financial measures as defined on Slide #2, as we may refer to adjusted operating income and adjusted EBITDA in today's call.
To begin, please turn to Slide #5, where we have included a reconciliation of our previously communicated outlook provided on May 1.
With that, I will now turn the call over to Brian Robinson. Brian?Brian J. Robinson Thank you, Len. Good morning. We are pleased to report adjusted operating income and adjusted EPS were within our guidance range for the second quarter as each of our segments reported sequentially stronger results. Our businesses in North America and ROW were a source of stability during the second quarter, and in Europe, we continue to help ourselves despite an increasingly more challenging macroeconomic environment. Metal pounds sold for the second quarter increased 2% sequentially and 5% year-over-year but were below our guidance range. Our previously communicated demand expectations for the second quarter failed to materialize due to the impact of the economic uncertainty in Europe and industrial slowdown stalling demand for wiring cable products in North America and the impact of declining metal prices on the buying behavior of electrical distributors and OEM broad customers. Quarterly average copper and aluminum prices drifted lower for the second quarter, declining 6% and 7%, respectively from our previous communication. Otherwise, as you can see on Slide 5, inventory quantity movements and the effective tax rate were generally consistent with our expectations for the second quarter.