Sigma-Aldrich says swine flu adjuvant sales boosted 4Q profit 10 percent, topping estimates

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Swine flu product sales lift Sigma-Aldrich profit

ST. LOUIS — Biochemicals company Sigma-Aldrich Corp. said Wednesday its profit grew 10 percent in the fourth quarter, aided by sales of adjuvants that boost the effectiveness of swine flu vaccines.

Sigma-Aldrich earned $92.6 million, or 75 cents per share, up from $84.3 million, or 68 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Revenue increased 12 percent to $572.5 million from $509.8 million.

According to Thomson Reuters, analysts were expecting a smaller profit of 72 cents per share and $560.5 million in revenue.

The company said revenue for its specialty fine chemicals business grew about 12 percent, partly due to sales of swine flu vaccine adjuvants to pharmaceutical companies. It also credited shipments of industrial media and other products.

For the full year, Sigma-Aldrich said its profit edged up 2 percent to $346.7 million, or $2.80 per share, from $341.5 million, or $2.65 per share. Revenue fell 2 percent to $2.15 billion from $2.2 billion in 2008.

The company said it expects to earn $3 to $3.15 per share in 2010. It said revenue will grow in the mid-single digits. If foreign currency exchange rates hold steady, that will add about 1 percent to its revenue.

Analysts had forecast a profit of $3.14 per share and revenue of $2.31 billion, which implies growth of about 8 percent.

In morning trading, Sigma-Aldrich shares rose 12 cents to $48.37.

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