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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

modest benefits from the Company's process improvement and supply chain activities and lower insurance and legal and professional expenses. Interest expense for Q3 2008 was $2.3 million below Q3 2007 levels due to lower interest rates partially offset by increased borrowing to support a higher level of share repurchases during the second quarter.

The higher effective tax rate for the first nine months of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007 reflects the absence of U.S. R&D tax credits during the first three quarters of 2008 and a higher level of audit and related contingencies.

OUTLOOK:

2008 Expectations: Ongoing benefits from the programs in place to support our five key strategic initiatives that were expected to enable the Company to meet its 7% long-term organic growth goal for 2008 are likely to be partially offset by the adverse sales impact of current economic conditions, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry. Overall organic sales growth for all of 2008 is expected to be in-line with the 6.0% growth achieved for the first nine months of 2008. Currency benefits could add 3% to 4% to full year organic growth, but reduce otherwise reportable Q4 2008 growth by about 3%, if currency exchange rates remain at September 30, 2008 levels.

Each of the Research-based business units are expected to continue the activities that have driven organic growth over the first nine months of 2008, with recent price gains higher than those realized to date likely to be largely offset by slower volume growth due to overall economic conditions. Research Essentials and Research Specialties are expected to deliver organic sales growth of 4% to 5% and 7% to 8%, respectively, in-line with year-to-date performance. Research Biotech is expected to continue its positive momentum and deliver strong organic growth for 2008, partially offset by the decision to exit less profitable portions of the peptide/antisera business and to focus efforts on more prom
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