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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

educed demand for custom pharma products as pharmaceutical customers delayed deliveries on existing orders and reduced the number of requests for custom pharmaceutical projects. Overall booked orders for future delivery at September 30, 2008 declined by approximately 10% from the June 30, 2008 level, reflecting changes in pharmaceutical demand.

INCOME ANALYSIS:

A reconciliation of currency adjusted proforma to reported net income and diluted earnings per share can be found in tabular form in the Supplemental Financial Information section on page 11.

Reported diluted EPS for 2008's third quarter of $.64, which includes a $.07 benefit from currency exchange rates, increased 18.5% over the $.54 reported for 2007's third quarter.

Gross profit, S,G&A expenses and operating and pretax income, all expressed as a percentage of sales, and the effective tax rate (income tax expense expressed as a percentage of pretax income), for the third quarters and first nine months of 2008 and 2007, were as follows:

Third Quarter Year-To-Date

2008 2007 2008 2007

Gross profit 51.4% 50.9% 51.2% 51.2%

S,G&A expenses 25.0% 25.5% 25.3% 25.6%

Operating income 23.3% 22.4% 23.0% 22.7%

Pretax income 22.7% 21.2% 22.4% 21.5%

Effective tax rate 33.3% 33.0% 32.0% 30.2%

Operating and pretax income margins for Q3 2008 improved over those achieved in Q3 2007. The improved gross profit margins in Q3 2008 compared to Q3 2007 resulted largely from currency, process improvement and global supply chain benefits and the impact of price increases in September 2008, partially offset by higher manufacturing and distribution expenses, including increased freight and maintenance costs. The lower S,G&A expense level reflects
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