Corporate - Corporate operating expenses decreased $1.6 million to $25.9 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 compared to the prior year quarter. The decrease was primarily the result of lower share-based and incentive compensation.
Interest Expense Net of Interest Income - Interest expense net of interest income decreased $28.3 million to $19.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 compared to the prior year quarter. The decrease was largely due to the effects of lower borrowings as well as lower interest rates following a reduction in the amount of the Company's interest rate swap in December 2010 and the refinancing of the Company's credit agreement in September 2010. The fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 also included a write-off of deferred financing fees of $12.0 million due to the refinancing of long-term debt. Average debt outstanding decreased from $1.35 billion during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 to $1.09 billion during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. The Company repaid $51.0 million of debt during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.
Provision for Income Taxes - The Company recorded income tax expense of $18.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, or 33.3 percent of pre-tax income, compared to 35.4 percent of pre-tax income in the prior year quarter. The fourth quarter fiscal 2011 effective tax rate was adversely impacted by $2 million in additional taxes resulting from the repatriation of foreign earnings.
The Company reported consolidated net sales for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011 of $7.58 billion and income from continuing operations of $273.4 million, or $2.99 per share. This compares with net sales of $9.84 billion and income from continuing operations of $792.9 million, or $8.72 per share, for fiscal 2010. Excluding impairment charges in both periods, adjusted income from continuing operations in fiscal 2011 was $279.5 million, or $3.06 per share, compared to $818.3 million, or $9.00 per share, in fiscal 2010. The decreases in sales and income from continuing operations were primarily due to the completion of the initial 8,079 vehicles under the Company's M-ATV contract in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Combined M-ATV related vehicle and parts & service sales totaled $1.25 billion in fiscal 2011 compared to $4.49 billion in fiscal 2010. The decrease in M-ATV related sales was offset in part by an increase in sales to external customers in the access equipment segment of $677.3 million, or 53.5 percent, and the start of the FMTV contract in the defense segment.
The Company is lowering its outlook for fiscal 2012 primarily due to the re-allocation by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) of certain tires with constrained capacity from certain of the Company's defense programs to other OEM contracts with higher military priority. The Company expects this action will shift approximately $225 million of Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicle (FHTV) sales in the defense segment from fiscal 2012 to fiscal 2013. The Company will describe this change and other changes to the Company's fiscal 2012 outlook during a conference call later today.
The Company will comment on fourth quarter earnings and its fiscal 2012 outlook during a conference call at 9:00 a.m. EDT this morning. Slides for the call will be available on the Company's website beginning at 7:00 a.m. EDT this morning. The call will be webcast simultaneously over the Internet. To access the webcast, listeners can go to www.oshkoshcorporation.com at least 15 minutes prior to the event and follow instructions for listening to the broadcast. An audio replay of the call and related question and answer session will be available for 12 months at this website.