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Sigma-Aldrich's 3Q Net Up 5.1% On Favorable Tax Rate

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Sigma-Aldrich Corp.'s (SIAL) third-quarter profit rose 5.1% due to a more favorable tax rate, which offset lower sales and margins at the biochemicals company. The supplier of chemicals for high-tech research in universities and industry said profit rose to $86.1 million, or 70 cents a share, from $81.9 million, or 64 cents a share, a year earlier. Earnings would have been 80 cents a share without the impact from currency. Sales fell 1.3% to $533.8 million, but excluding the impact of currency change, sales grew 2.3% organically. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings, excluding items, of 67 cents a share on revenue of $532 million. Gross profit fell to 49.7% from 51.4%. Organic sales rose 1.4% for the research business and 4.8% for the specialty fine chemicals segment. Sigma-Aldrich also affirmed its full-year revenue target, seeing organic growth in low-single digits. Profits are expected to exceed $2.70 a share. In July, the company saw profits "slightly above" the $2.65 a share of a year ago. Sigma-Aldrich shares closed at $55.20 and didn't trade premarket. The stock is up by about a third this year. -By Mike Barris and John Kell, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2330;;

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