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Sigma-Aldrich (Nasdaq: SIAL) Reports 18.5% Gain in Q3 2008 Diluted EPS and Reaffirms Full Year 2008 Diluted EPS Forecast. Q3 2008 Sales Increase 7.4%. Buyback Authorization Increased by 10 Million Shares.
Date:10/21/2008

08.

In an action taken on October 20, 2008, the Board of Directors approved a ten million share increase in the Company's repurchase authorization, bringing the total authorization to 100 million shares. Shares repurchased are held as treasury shares. These share repurchases have been and are expected to be used to continue to improve the Company's return on equity, to cover the dilutive effect of stock option exercises and performance share awards and for other corporate purposes. The Company expects to repurchase the 11.0 million remaining authorized shares, but the timing and number of shares purchased, if any, depends upon market conditions and other factors.

OTHER INFORMATION:

Return On Equity: Our ROE at September 30, 2008 was 22.2%, continuing to exceed our 20% goal.

Cash Flow, Working Capital and Debt: Cash flow from operations for the first nine months of 2008 compared to 2007 increased by $31.9 million, or 11.9%, to $299.8 million as net income increased and deferred income taxes, the change in accrued income taxes and the growth in inventories declined from 2007 levels. This cash flow, together with a $72.8 million increase in debt, enabled us to fund $291.0 million for share repurchases, pay $64.7 million for property and equipment additions and return $49.5 million to shareholders through a 13% increase in the quarterly dividend. We expect to continue to have adequate cash and borrowing capacity to fund all anticipated requirements for operations and acquisitions over the remainder of 2008.

Short-term borrowings were $413.3 million at a weighted average interest rate of 2.6% and long-term debt was $200.1 million at a weighted average interest rate of 6.4% at September 30, 2008. Our debt to capital ratio at September 30, 2008 was 28.8%. The Company has not experienced any problem in placing its short-term debt in recent weeks.

Accounts receivable days sales outstanding at September 30, 2008 were 51 days, consiste
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SOURCE Sigma-Aldrich
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