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Sigma-Aldrich's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Before beginning the review, I want to remind you that today's comments include forward-looking statements about future activities and our expectations for sales, earnings, cash flow and other possible future results. While we believe these expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, actual results may differ materially due to any number of factors, including the risk factors listed in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and in the cautionary statement that is in today's release and in our slides. We have no plans to update these forward-looking statements after this conference.

Also in today's conference call, we are providing information on non-GAAP financial measures. That information, which consists of currency and acquisition-adjusted sales growth, operating income and related margins, net income and EPS results on both an adjusted and reported basis and free cash flow reconciled to net cash provided by operating activities, is also contained in today's earnings release, which is posted on our website and in the appendix to today's presentation that begins on Slide 18.

With that, I'll ask Kirk to start with the summary of our results compared to our prior guidance and then onto fourth quarter results. Kirk?

Kirk A. Richter

Thank you, Sondra, and good morning. To begin, let me review our actual 2011 Q4 and full year results compared to the guidance we provided in our last conference call. Starting with sales, we had 3% organic growth in Q4 compared to guidance that we expected to be in a low- to mid-single digit range. Our Q4 diluted adjusted EPS was $0.91 after adding back a onetime $0.02 tax item, above the midpoint of our guidance range of $0.85 to $0.93. For the full year 2011, we had indicated that we expected to achieve mid-single-digit organic sales growth, and we did that with 5% organic growth.

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