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Sigma-Aldrich Posts 5 Percent Revenue Growth for Q1

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sigma-Aldrich today reported that its first-quarter revenues increased 5 percent, with sales for its Research business "slightly higher than expected," according to President and CEO Rakesh Sachdev.

The St. Louis-based chemicals and research products firm reported total sales of $665 million for the three months ended March 31, up 5 percent from $632 million for the first quarter of 2011. On an organic basis, revenues increased 3 percent. It beat Wall Street's consensus estimate of $658.5 million.

Sales for its Research business increased 4 percent to $468 million from $452 million year over year, and sales for the SAFC business were up 9 percent at $197 million versus $180 million. On an organic basis, sales for the Research business increased 4 percent and sales for the SAFC business were up 1 percent.

"The 4 percent organic growth in our Research business was slightly higher than our expectation, even as uncertainties in the global economic environment and in pharma and academic research funding in the US and Europe continued," Sachdev said in a statement. "SAFC had its strongest quarter ever with sales of $197 million," he added.

Sigma-Aldrich posted net income of $117 million, or $.96 per share, compared to $119 million, or $.97 per share, for Q1 2011. On an adjusted basis, its EPS was $.99, matching Wall Street expectations.

The firm's R&D spending for the quarter was flat year over year at $18 million, while its SG&A expenses climbed 8 percent to $160 million from $148 million. The Q1 results included a $5 million charge related to acquisition costs, while last year's Q1 had a $3 million restructuring cost.

During the first quarter, Sigma-Aldrich acquired BioReliance Holdings for $350 million in cash. That business provides biologic, specialized toxicology, and animal health testing services to pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, diagnostics, and other life science customers.

Sigma-Aldrich followed that deal with the acquisition earlier this month of high purity biochemicals firm Research Organics for an undisclosed amount.

The firm finished the quarter with $558 million in cash and cash equivalents.

It reiterated its expectation for FY 2012 organic revenue growth in the mid-single digits, with the two recently acquired businesses expected to boost sales growth for the year by 6 percent. It expects EPS of $3.90-$4.05.