AP News

Sigma-Aldrich 3Q income slides on currency woes

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Sigma-Aldrich Corp. said Tuesday its third-quarter net income fell 4 percent as the stronger dollar and delays of some large chemical orders hurt its business.

Sigma-Aldrich said revenue from its research chemicals business remains weak, declining 4 percent compared to a year ago. However, it said demand held steady compared with the second quarter. Revenue from its fine chemicals business improved, but fell short of the company's expectations because some large orders were delayed into the fourth quarter.

The company said its income slipped to $112 million, or 92 cents per share, from $117 million, or 95 cents per share, a year ago. If one-time costs are excluded Sigma-Aldrich said it earned 95 cents per share in the most recent quarter. Revenue grew 2 percent, to $639 million from $626 million.

Analysts expected net income of 94 cents per share and $660.7 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

The revenue shortfall hit Sigma-Aldrich's stock, which fell $2.96, or 4.1 percent, to $70 in premarket trading.

Sigma-Aldrich said changes in foreign currency exchange rates cut its net income by 11 cents per share. When the dollar strengthens relative to other currencies, international revenue converts back into fewer dollars.

It said fine chemicals sales rose 17 percent from a year ago. The delayed orders included a large order for industrial cell culture media.

The company said sales in Europe grew slowly and North American revenue was unchanged. It reported growth in sales in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.

Sigma-Aldrich said it still expects to earn $3.80 to $3.90 per share in 2012. Analysts are projecting $3.85 per share on average.

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