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Last night, we released results for our second quarter of fiscal year 2012, copies of which are posted in the Investor Relations section of our website. For those on our mailing list, you received a press release either by e-mail or fax. If you are not on our mailing list and are interested in receiving this information in the future, please contact Investor Relations. The slide deck that accompanies this call is also available in the Investor Relations portion of our website, and will be available in conjunction with the replay of the call.I remind you that our conversation today will include forward-looking statements, which are subject to risks and uncertainties, and Cabot’s actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. A list of factors that could affect Cabot’s actual results can be found in the press release we issued last night and are discussed more fully in the reports we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly in our last Annual Report on Form 10-K. These filings can be found in the Investor Relations portion of our website. I will now turn the call over to Patrick Prevost, who will discuss the key highlights of the company’s performance for the quarter. Eddie Cordeiro will review the business segment and corporate financial details. And following this, Patrick will provide closing comments and open the floor to questions. Patrick? Patrick Prevost Thank you, Erica and good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. This quarter has been a very strong one for Cabot and we are very pleased with our performance. Over the last few years, we’ve maintained our focus on earnings growth through margin and capacity expansion and from new products and businesses and the results are coming through. The sole execution of our strategy delivered a 68% quarterly improvement over the last year in adjusted EPS. Our improvement was driven by exceptionally strong business performance that resulted in sequential and year-over-year improvement in total segment EBIT. We achieved another quarter of record performance in two of our business segments, Rubber Blacks and Specialty Fluids.
As we talked about last quarter, we implemented our Rubber Blacks commercial agreements for calendar year 2012 and they contributed strongly to our results this quarter. In addition, our Specialty Fluids segment performed extremely well and we continue to expand into new geographies and with new customers. We successfully completed two jobs in Malaysia during the quarter and are pleased with our geographic expansion as well as customer diversification.As we indicated earlier in the year, the sequential volume improvement was strong. We saw increases of 4% in Rubber Blacks, 14% in Performance Products and 17% in Fumed Metal Oxides. We believe that these volumes reflect a more normalized demand profile as compared to our volumes at the end of the calendar year which included some destocking activity by our customers. While macroeconomic environment in Europe remains a challenge, we have seen positive momentum in Asia and North America. In particular, we have seen notable improvements in China and the US in recent months as we are seeing recovery in automotive production as well as some of the other industries we serve. As a reminder, Cabot's revenues continued to grow preferably in the developing markets around the world. Today we are at close to 50% of our revenues in Asia Pacific and South America. Over the long term, we remain confident in the projected growth of our end markets. We have seen another $3 billion of announced tire capacity expansions since January. This will contribute to a growth rate of about 5% per year in tire unit capacity. The announced expansions are focused in the emerging regions, but we also see significant investment planned for the US. Outside of the tire and automotive industries, we also remain optimistic about the momentum of using inkjet for use in commercial printing and continue to see strength in the infrastructure sector in emerging markets. In addition to the strong operating performance this quarter we made significant progress in our capacity expansions and energy efficiency investments. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com