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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

ising opportunities in molecular biology, for an overall expected sales gain of at least 7%.

SAFC's organic growth expectations for 2008 have been moderated to a new range of 4% to 5%, reflecting recent economic and industry conditions that have slowed growth in the past two quarters and that are expected to carry into the fourth quarter. A carryover benefit in Q1 2008 from the February 2007 acquisition of Epichem, an innovator in developing and supplying high performance semiconductor materials, is expected to add modestly to full year organic growth.

Ongoing efforts to identify and pursue desirable acquisition candidates or technology access arrangements may further enhance growth in 2008 as we continue to seek to add additional ongoing revenue streams through the acquisition of strategically important products, services, platform technologies, businesses and facilities.

Our reaffirmed forecast for diluted earnings per share for all of 2008 is a range of $2.62 to $2.72, a 12.0% to 16.2% increase over 2007's $2.34. This expectation is based on our 2008 year-to-date results, the sales expectations described above, currency rates remaining at September 30, 2008 levels, the expected pretax income margin and tax rate described below and other expectations for our business. Pretax income margins for the full year are expected to improve from the 21.5% achieved in 2007 as a result of favorable currency rates for the full year, lower interest rates, modest contributions from the Company's supply chain initiative and other margin improvement initiatives. We believe we have the ability to offset current and anticipated higher input costs with recent selling price increases. The previously forecasted effective tax rate for all of 2008 has been lowered to approximately 31% of pretax income, reflecting the reinstatement of the U.S. R&D tax credit on October 3, 2008 which will provide benefits starting in Q4 2008. Variations to our forecast tax rate and for
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