Fiscal 2012 fourth quarter general corporate net expense was $20.6 million, compared to $22.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. General corporate net expense was $85.6 million for the full fiscal year 2012, compared to $80.7 million in fiscal 2011.
The effective tax rate for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 was 23.4 percent, compared to 21.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. The effective tax rate for the full fiscal year 2012 was 23.7 percent, compared to 19.7 percent in fiscal 2011.
During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, the Company repurchased 1.4 million shares of its common stock at a cost of $95.8 million. During fiscal year 2012, the Company repurchased 3.7 million shares of its common stock at a cost of $265.3 million. At September 30, 2012, $936.7 million remained available under the $1.0 billion share repurchase authorization.
Changes to definition of segment operating earnings and introduction of new non-GAAP measures for fiscal 2013
Significant declines in interest rates over the past several years have caused an extraordinary increase in certain components of pension expense that the Company considers to be unrelated to its underlying operating performance. In order to provide transparency into the operating results of our business, beginning in fiscal 2013, the Company will provide non-GAAP earnings measures (Adjusted Income and Adjusted EPS) that exclude non-operating pension costs and their related tax effects from income from continuing operations and corresponding earnings per share (EPS). The Company defines non-operating pension costs as defined benefit plan interest cost, expected return on plan assets, amortization of actuarial gains and losses and the impacts of any plan curtailments or settlements. In addition, the Company will redefine segment operating earnings to exclude non-operating pension costs. Fiscal 2013 guidance is being provided for Adjusted EPS.
Organic sales, total segment operating earnings, total segment operating margin, free cash flow and return on invested capital are non-GAAP measures that are reconciled to GAAP measures in the attachments to this release. Also included in the attachments to this release are reconciliations of redefined segment operating earnings and the new non-GAAP measures of Adjusted Income and Adjusted EPS for the fiscal years 2010 - 2012. Quarterly and annual reconciliations of redefined segment operating earnings, Adjusted EPS and Adjusted Income and an annual schedule of components of pension expense for the fiscal years 2008-2012 are provided in the Supplemental Financial Data document posted on Rockwell Automation's website at
The Company is providing a fiscal 2013 sales outlook of $6.35 to $6.65 billion, which represents organic growth of 1 to 5 percent. Currency translation and acquisitions will add one point of growth. Based on this sales outlook, the Company is initiating fiscal 2013 Adjusted EPS guidance of $5.35 to $5.75, which compares to Adjusted EPS of $5.29 for fiscal 2012.