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Sigma-Aldrich Posts 5 Percent Revenue Growth for Q4

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sigma-Aldrich today reported that its fourth-quarter revenues increased 5 percent, or 3 percent organically, but it fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

The St. Louis-based research and chemical products firm reported total revenues of $610 million for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, compared to $582 million for the fourth quarter of 2010. Analysts, on average, had expected revenues of $626.9 million.

The firm's Research Essentials business had 3 percent revenue growth to $113 million from $110 million, while its Research Specialties business also grew 3 percent to $221 million from $214 million, and its Research Biotech business was up 5 percent to $91 million from $87 million. Overall, its Research Chemicals unit, which comprises the three reporting businesses was up 3 percent, but only 1 percent on an organic basis.

The SAFC unit had revenue growth of 8 percent, or 7 percent organically, to $185 million from $171 million.

"The Research business in the US was impacted by challenging market conditions and funding uncertainties in the early weeks of the fourth quarter," Sigma-Aldrich President and CEO Rakesh Sachdev said in a statement. "These conditions reduced our Q4 growth rates in Research in the US below those realized in the first three quarters of the year.

"We continued to invest a substantial amount of capital to drive growth in our focus markets of China, India, and Brazil where we achieved organic sales growth of 17 percent," he added.

Sigma-Aldrich posted net income of $108 million, or $.89 per share, compared to $94 million, or $.76 per share, for 2010. Excluding a one-time tax item in 2011, its adjusted EPS for Q4 was $.91, beating Wall Street's expectations of $.89.

The firm's SG&A spending for the quarter was $146 million, up 2 percent from $143 million in 2010, and its R&D expenses increased 6 percent to $18 million from $17 million. Its 2010 Q4 results included $11 million in restructuring costs not repeated in Q4 2011.

For full-year 2011, Sigma-Aldrich had total revenues of $2.51 billion, up 10 percent from $2.27 billion for 2010. Its organic growth for the year was 5 percent.

Its Research Essentials business had 10 percent revenue growth to $478 million from $434 million, while its Research Specialties business grew 9 percent to $924 million from $845 million, and its Research Biotech business also was up 9 percent to $375 million from $345 million. The SAFC unit had revenue growth of 13 percent to $728 million from $647 million.

The company's profit for the year was $457 million, or $3.72 per share, compared to $384 million, or $3.12 per share, for FY 2010.

Sigma-Aldrich's SG&A expenses were $597 million, up 9 percent from $548 million, and its R&D spending climbed 9 percent to $72 million from $66 million.

The firm finished the year with $665 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Sigma-Aldrich recently completed the acquisition of BioReliance Holdings for $350 million in cash. The business, which provides biologic, specialized toxicology, and animal health testing to pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, diagnostics, and other life science customers, will become part of the SAFC unit.

For 2012, the firm expects organic sales growth in the mid-single digit range. It anticipates diluted adjusted EPS between $3.90 and $4.05, with the acquisition of BioReliance expected to add around $.05 to $.07 to its EPS for the year.

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