-- Received recognition for CompoZr Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN), a breakthrough gene editing technology, as one of the "Top 10 Innovations of 2008" by The Scientist magazine.
2009 Outlook on Sales Growth and EPS:
-- While the demand for Sigma-Aldrich's products continued to be healthy in the fourth quarter of 2008, the current uncertainty in the global markets reduces future visibility, making it difficult to forecast sales with a desirable level of certainty. Demand from several of the Company's key markets is expected to decline in 2009, but with new program launches, global sales initiatives and market share gains, the Company expects to be able to achieve low single digit organic sales growth in 2009. Currency is expected to reduce otherwise reportable growth in 2009 by approximately 7% if exchange rates remain at current levels.
-- The negative impact of currency on EPS is expected to be about $0.30 in 2009 if exchange rates remain at current levels. The Company plans to offset this impact through growth in organic sales, supply chain optimization, and other operational process improvements, and expects to report 2009 pre-tax margins and an EPS at or slightly above 2008 levels.
At a meeting held on February 10, 2009, the Company's Directors declared an 11.5% increase in its quarterly cash dividend to $.145 per share. The dividend is payable on March 16, 2009 to shareholders of record on March 2, 2009.
Commenting on 2008 performance and 2009 expectations, President and CEO
Jai Nagarkatti said: "Despite a challenging environment, we are pleased with
our 2008 performance and our ability to improve our profitability. The
initiatives that have been key to growth over
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