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MORTON INTERNATIONAL REPORTS 84 CENTS PER SHARE FOR THE THIRD QUARTER

MORTON INTERNATIONAL REPORTS 84 CENTS PER SHARE FOR THE THIRD QUARTER
 CHICAGO, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Morton International (NYSE: MII) today reported net sales increased 7 percent and net income was up 2 percent in its third quarter ended March 31, 1992.
 Net sales were $555 million compared to last year's net sales of $517.7 million in the third quarter. Net income was $41.2 million vs. $40.3 million in the quarter ended March 31, 1991. Earnings per share for the quarter were $.84, up slightly from last year's $.83 per share.
 For the first nine months of fiscal year 1992, net income was $110.1 million, or $2.25 per share, 5 percent ahead of last year's $2.15 per share. Morton's net income in the first nine months of fiscal 1992 was negatively impacted by a higher effective tax rate of 37.5 percent vs. 35.5 percent last year. Sales were $1,538.4 million, up 7 percent over the first nine months of fiscal 1991.
 Charles S. Locke, chairman and chief executive officer of Morton, said, "In spite of the worldwide economic recession affecting our chemical business and a mild winter in the United States this year hurting our salt business, our sales and earnings were positive. These results were due to strong operating performances in our airbag business as well as sales and profit improvements in certain chemical product lines."
 Specialty chemicals sales for the quarter increased 4 percent to $313.4 million while operating profits increased 5 percent to $39.1 million. Lower sales of electronic materials and advanced materials were more than offset by favorable performances in packaging adhesives, industrial chemicals and additives, automotive coatings, powder coatings and industrial coatings. In addition, last year the company posted net sales of $7.9 million in its food and cosmetic colors business during the third quarter. It sold that business in August 1991.
 Automotive Safety Products sales increased 71 percent to $87.7 million while profits improved to $12.9 million, a 118 percent increase over last year's third-quarter results. Substantial increases in inflator shipments to Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Mercedes, as well as increased module shipments to Chrysler, accounted for most of the sales gains. Additional Mercedes and General Motors passenger module business also contributed to the favorable performance this year. A module comprises an airbag inflator, the bag and a cover.
 Salt sales were $153.9 million, down 6 percent in the quarter, while earnings were $33 million, down 9 percent. Ice control sales were down 13 percent as a result of the milder winter weather in the third quarter of fiscal 1992 as compared to last year's record third-quarter ice control sales. This decline was partially offset by continued strong demand for water conditioning products and improvement in several other products.
 Morton International is a Chicago-based manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals, automotive inflatable restraint systems and salt.
 MORTON INTERNATIONAL
 Comparative Results
 (In millions, except per-share data)
 Periods ended Three Months Nine Months
 March 31 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net sales $555.0 $517.7 $1,538.4 $1,440.4
 Interest, royalties
 and sundry income 6.0 4.8 14.3 16.2
 Total 561.0 522.5 1,552.7 1,456.6
 Deductions from income:
 Cost of products sold 382.9 359.1 1,055.0 1,000.8
 Selling, administrative and
 general expense 84.9 74.8 243.1 216.8
 Research and development
 expense 16.2 15.0 44.9 43.8
 Interest expense 8.4 8.5 25.5 26.0
 Amortization of goodwill 2.7 2.6 8.0 7.8
 Income taxes 24.7 22.2 66.1 57.3
 Total 519.8 482.2 1,442.6 1,352.5
 Net income 41.2 40.3 110.1 104.1
 Net income per share $.84 $.83 $2.25 $2.15
 Average shares outstanding
 (in thousands) 49,005 48,427
 Business Segment Information:
 Sales
 Specialty Chemicals $313.4 $302.8 $902.3 $900.0
 Salt 153.9 163.5 394.4 383.8
 Inflatable Restraint Systems 87.7 51.4 241.7 156.6
 Total 555.0 517.7 1,538.4 1,440.4
 Profit(A)
 Specialty Chemicals 39.1 37.4 113.2 110.7
 Salt 33.0 36.2 82.2 77.2
 Inflatable Restraint Systems 12.9 5.9 37.9 19.8
 Total 85.0 79.5 233.3 207.7
 (A) -- Business segment profit is before income taxes, interest income, interest expense and allocation of corporate administrative expenses.
 -0- 4/15/92
 /CONTACT: Nancy A. Hobor of Morton International, 312-807-2424/
 (MII) CO: Morton International ST: Illinois IN: CHM SU: ERN


CK -- NY118 -- 8968 04/15/92 17:33 EDT
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Date:Apr 15, 1992
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