Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that some of the comments made by management during the conference call contain forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to vary, which are discussed in our public releases, including our most recent 10-K. We caution you not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements made during this call speak only as of the date of this call.In addition, some of the comments made on this call may refer to certain measures such as cash earnings, which are not in accordance with GAAP. Management believes these results more clearly reflect comparative operating performance. For a full reconciliation of cash earnings to GAAP results in accordance with Regulation G, please see our press release furnished as an exhibit to our Form 8-K dated October 4, 2011, which may be located under the Investor Relations area on our website at www.globalpaymentsinc.com. Now I'd like to introduce Paul Garcia. Paul? Paul R. Garcia Thank you, Jane, and thanks, everyone, for joining us this afternoon. I am pleased to report that we are executing well across all of our businesses as evidenced by our strong results for the quarter. First quarter fiscal 2012 revenue grew 23% to $543 million. Cash earnings per share grew 21% to $0.88 and cash operating margins increased to 22.3% for the quarter. As a result of this performance and our $100 million stock buyback program, we are increasing our full year cash earnings per share expectations to a range of $3.46 to $3.54 or 12% to 15% growth over 2011. David will discuss both the drivers of this increase and our Q1 results in more detail in just a moment. But please note that our expectations exclude any effect from Durbin legislation.
Speaking of the Durbin legislation which, as you know, reduced interchange rates on most debit transactions effective October 1 just several days ago, our market strategy will allow all of our customers to benefit. Although we anticipate the net impact to be positive for Global Payments, we believe that these benefits will be transitory. We plan to provide more detail concerning the impact of the Durbin legislation for our second quarter when we report our results in January.Now for first quarter highlights. North America delivered revenue growth of 12% in the quarter driven by our U.S. ISO channel, strong growth from our Gaming business and solid performance from our direct channel. Canada delivered the stable quarterly results we anticipated, and our business there is performing on target. Our International segment produced another quarter of strong results with revenue growth of 59% fueled by all regions. These results include the addition of Spain, which performed well during the quarter, coupled with solid performance across Europe and continued robust growth in Asia. I'll now turn the call over to David. David E. Mangum Thanks, Paul. We are pleased with the start to our fiscal 2012 with strong cash earnings, and we are gratified to be executing well in this challenging macroeconomic environment. North America Merchant Services revenue growth of 12% was about what we anticipated, benefiting from U.S. transaction growth of 12%, strong growth in Gaming, stable performance in Canada and a favorable Canadian exchange rate. Additionally in Canada, local currency revenue grew 5% and transactions grew 4%. North America cash operating income was up 5% for the quarter over prior year. Our International segment performed a little better than we expected for the first quarter due to the combination of strong organic results across all of our businesses, a joint venture marketing feature-up in Spain and pricing benefits in the U.K. International cash operating margin increased to 39.9% compared to 34.9% in the prior year with over 1/3 of the expansion attributable to the true-up in Spain. We generated free cash flow of $67 million, representing 13% growth over last year. We define free cash flow as net operating cash flows, excluding the impact of settlement assets and obligations, less capital expenditures and distributions to noncontrolling interests.
During the quarter, we spent $12 million on capital expenditures and we continue to anticipate our full year fiscal capital expenditures to be about $85 million to $90 million. During the month of September, we completed our $100 million share repurchase program, purchasing a total of 2.3 million shares. During the first quarter, we purchased about 1.7 million shares at an average share price of about $43. This program was largely funded by our U.S. credit line. As a result of our share repurchase program, we now expect our diluted share count to be about $80 million for the year.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com