Rakesh Sachdev

Yes, thanks, Kirk, and good morning to all. Before we continue with today's call, I'd like to say how pleased I am that Jan Bertsch has joined the Sigma-Aldrich management team and is now joining me for the first of, what I believe should be, many conference calls. She has a broad background in both finance and operations, with over 3 decades of progressive leadership assignments with several large global companies. In just a few short weeks, she's already becoming a key contributor, and she plans to participate in a variety of investor conferences and other meetings in the next few months. So I hope you'll the have chance to meet her soon. Kirk, let's continue.

Kirk A. Richter

Thanks, Rakesh. In today's call, Jan will lead off with a review of our first quarter performance. Rakesh will follow that discussion with an update on the activities that contributed to our first quarter results and our outlook for 2012. After completing those reviews, we'll open up the call for your questions and comments. We will be using a slide presentation as part of today's call. That presentation can be viewed on our Investor Relations website at www.sigmaaldrich.com.

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, 2011, and in the cautionary statement that is included 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 with Slide 12. With that, I'll ask Jan to start with a summary of our first quarter results. Jan?

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