, adjusted operating income from continuing operations was $272 million, or 15.2% of revenues, compared to $318 million, or 16.7% of revenues, for 2012. For the first quarter of 2013, reported operating income from continuing operations was $227 million, or 12.7% of revenues, compared to $298 million, or 15.6% of revenues, in 2012. Cash provided by operations, which was reduced by the deferral of approximately $70 million in tax payments from the fourth quarter of 2012, was $47 million, compared to $161 million in the first quarter of 2012. During the first quarter of 2013, the company repurchased $62 million of its common shares.
Steve Rusckowski, President and CEO, commented: "Our results for the quarter reflect our previously stated expectation for revenue softness during the first half of 2013, with gradual improvement throughout the remainder of the year. Contributors to the first quarter's revenue softness include a challenging year-over-year comparison; continued weakness in healthcare utilization; and reductions in reimbursement driven by Medicare and commercial payers.
"Our primary focus in 2013 is driving operational excellence and restoring growth, which are two elements of our five-point strategy. We continued to make excellent progress with our Invigorate cost-reduction initiative, which mitigated much of the bottom line impact from the revenue softness. Additionally, we are refocusing on diagnostic information services and delivering disciplined capital deployment. We completed the previously announced sale of HemoCue and plan to deploy the $300 million in proceeds into share repurchases. In addition, we announced the planned acquisition of outreach testing operations of Dignity Health in California and Nevada, and expect to complete additional fold-in acquisitions, consistent with our goal of contributing 1-2% revenue growth per year through strategically aligned, accretive acquisitions."
Outlook for 2013 "While performance in th
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