These actions, coupled with other ongoing initiatives to expand margins, resulted in a 38% increase in adjusted earnings per share to $0.51 for the second quarter of 2014, up from $0.37 in the second quarter of 2013. Recently announced asset realignment actions taken in Brazil led to higher restructuring costs this quarter. As a result, GAAP earnings per share totaled $0.33 for the second quarter of 2014 versus $0.39 in the second quarter of 2013.
"I am pleased to report adjusted earnings per share increased 38% to $0.51 for the second quarter representing an all-time high for PolyOne," said president and chief executive officer Robert M. Patterson. "This marks our 19th consecutive quarter of year-over-year double-digit adjusted EPS growth - an impressive accomplishment reflecting the power and sustainability of our strategy."
Mr. Patterson added, "Mix improvement continues to be at the heart of our transformation as our specialty businesses reached record levels of operating income and profitability for the quarter. Driven by an expanding portfolio of specialty solutions, our underlying mix of earnings has never been stronger with specialty now contributing two-thirds of our segment income."
"Our strong track record of converting earnings to cash continued this quarter as we generated $100 million of free cash flow," said executive vice president and chief financial officer Bradley C. Richardson.
Mr. Richardson continued, "We ended the quarter with $261.5 million in cash. This, coupled with our availability under our asset-based revolver, gives us significant capacity to invest in innovation, aggressively pursue acquisition opportunities and deliver cash to shareholders. During the quarter, we repurchased approximately 1.8 million shares at an average price of $38.15, bringing the total share buyback since early 2013 to 8.2 million shares."
Commenting on the company's outlook, Mr. Patterson said, "We are very pleased with our first half performance in 2014 and the underlying momentum and strength of our earnings growth. While our second quarter is seasonally our strongest, we expect to deliver strong year-over-year double-digit EPS expansion for the balance of 2014. With a growing pipeline of new and differentiated solutions, we are very confident in our ability to continue to create value for our customers and deliver market-beating performance for our shareholders."