our SAFC business. Recent Research selling price increases are expected
to mitigate the impact of slowing pharmaceutical demand in both
Research and Fine Chemicals. Currency could add another 3% to 4% to
full year 2008 sales growth, but reduce otherwise reportable growth in
Q4 2008 by approximately 3%, if exchange rates remain at September 30,
-- Improved Margins Expected: Currency, lower interest rates, our supply
chain initiative and other process improvements are expected to enhance
the pretax profit margin for full year 2008 from the 21.5% pretax
margin achieved in full year 2007.
-- EPS Guidance Reaffirmed: Management reaffirmed its full year 2008
diluted EPS expectation in the range of $2.62 to $2.72. Improved
margins and the recent reinstatement of the U.S. R&D tax credit
retroactive to January 1, 2008 should offset a lower expected Q4
currency benefit (based on September 30, 2008 currency rates) and the
anticipated impact from ongoing softness in pharmaceutical based sales.
-- Share Buyback Authorization Increased: An additional 10 million shares
were added to the prior authorization, indicating management's
confidence in its long-term growth potential and its ability to return
capital to shareholders.
Commenting on third quarter performance and future expectations,
President and CEO Jai Nagarkatti said: "We are pleased with our performance
as we continue to pursue and achieve above market growth. We're in the
final quarter of our 2006-2008 strategic plan, with the initiatives that
have been key to growth over that period still performing very well. And,
we're now finalizing our plans to add new activities as we seek to drive
growth above market rates for the next three years. Our organic growth has
been at roughly
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