These two items fueled a 56% increase in earnings per share from continuing operations quarter-over-quarter or more than a 42% increase for the first six months compared to the same period if 2011. We saw similar improvements in cash flow from operations with the 67% and 21% increase for the quarter in six months respectively.
And this provided an additional $55 million of internal cash so far this year to help fund our regulated investments. This all reflects in our earned ROE which for the last 12 months increased almost a full percentage point over the prior 12 month period and as you know in May our Board of Directors increased its quarterly cash dividend payments which is payable in September by 8.7%. Also based on our performance so far and prospects for the balance of the year we are increasing our earnings guidance for 2012. The range that we have had in place for the year is a $1.90 to $2 per share.
We estimate that the company’s 2012 earnings now will be in the range of $2.12 to $2.22 per share for continuing operations. Assuming normal weather patterns for the balance of the year and by that I mean from August going forward. Included in that range of 212 to 222 is $0.13 to $0.16 per share which is our best estimate of what we think is associated with increased pumpage experienced throughout the end of the July due to weather both in parts of our eastern operations as well as particularly the mid-west.
So, we are increasing our guidance range by $0.22 a share of which 60% to 70% is weather related and the balance is improved in our baseline performance. The mid-point of the new range translates into about a 22% increase in earnings per share from continuing ops over 2011 and roughly a 14% increase once you take out what we have indicated or likely impacts of weather through July.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com