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Sigma-Aldrich (Nasdaq: SIAL) Reports Fourth Quarter Diluted EPS of $0.68. Ends 2008 With Record Sales and Earnings and Raises Quarterly Cash Dividend by 11.5%. Provides Outlook for 2009.
Date:2/11/2009

the last three years are performing well. Looking forward, we are accelerating activities on a number of these initiatives. We are also elevating our efforts in other areas where significant performance improvements can contribute to enhanced growth in sales and profits. And, finally, we are finding other new and innovative ways to differentiate our Company in both life science and high technology applications by building on our unrivalled scientific knowledge and global logistics capabilities."

Nagarkatti continued, "We attribute our 2008 performance to our ability to win market share and drive operating performance faster than sales. Our long-term objective is to achieve above-market rate organic sales growth and enhance that through contributions from technology acquisitions and our innovation efforts. In the near term we expect challenging market conditions and plan to respond by maintaining tight control of our costs without sacrificing the commitment to our growth initiatives. We will approach 2009 with the same passion and energy that has driven our success in the past and exit this recession as a much stronger company than ever before."

OTHER INFORMATION:

Share Repurchase:

Another 3.3 million shares were acquired during the fourth quarter of 2008 at an average share price of $39.45. There were 122.1 million shares outstanding at December 31, 2008. The Company expects to repurchase the 7.7 million remaining authorized shares, but the timing and number of shares purchased, if any, depends upon market conditions and other factors.

Cash Flow and Debt:

Cash flow from operations for 2008 was $404 million compared to $417 million for 2007. Cash from higher net income and deferred income taxes was offset by pension plan contributions used to cover market declines in pension investments and increased inventories. This cash flow, together with a $181 milli
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