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MORTON INTERNATIONAL REPORTS RECORD THIRD QUARTER

 CHICAGO, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Morton International (NYSE: MII) today reported results for its third quarter ending March 31, 1993. Net sales were $648.3 million, a 17 percent increase over fiscal 1992 third quarter sales. Net income for the quarter was $49.4 million, resulting in earnings per share of $1.00, up 19 percent from last year's $.84 per share.
 For the first nine months of fiscal 1993, net income was $121.0 million, or $2.46 per share, a 9 percent increase over last year's $2.25 per share.
 Charles S. Locke, chairman and chief executive officer of Morton, said, "Late winter storms helped our salt group turn in a record performance. Furthermore, the resulting depletion of ice control salt inventories should bode well for next year's results."
 He added, "While many of our U.S. chemical businesses are showing signs of improvement, our international operations are still hampered by sluggish economies in Europe and Asia. Finally, we continue to be very pleased with the results from our airbag operations, our fastest growing business."
 Sales of Morton's specialty chemicals during the third quarter of fiscal 1993 were $325.2 million, a 4 percent increase over the prior year. Profits, however, were $38.6 million, down slightly from third quarter fiscal 1992 results. Several product lines showed improved sales and profits during the current quarter compared with the prior year, including extrudable specialties, water-based polymers, thermoplastic polyurethanes, automotive coatings, powder coatings, electronic materials, performance chemicals and plastic additives. Offsetting these improvements were the results of adhesives, dyes and organic specialties. Foreign exchange rates also had a negative impact on Morton's specialty chemical results.
 Morton Automotive Safety Product's third quarter sales increased 59 percent to $139.8 million, while profits improved 85 percent to $24.0 million compared with the same period last year. Sales of driver and passenger side airbag inflators as well as modules continue to increase as automakers accelerate the introduction of inflatable restraint systems into passenger cars and vans sold in the United States.
 Salt results represented a record for the quarter with sales of $183.3 million, up 19 percent over the prior year's third quarter, and net earnings of $42.0 million, or 27 percent above prior year's third quarter results. Significant snowfall in key U.S. markets resulted in a 32 percent increase in ice control sales over the same period last year. In addition, nearly every other product line showed an increase in sales.
 The current quarter earnings comparison reflects a higher level of corporate expense accruals related to a portion of the company's outstanding stock options. As a result of the significant increase in the stock price, which rose from $60.875 a share to $71.50 a share during the third quarter of fiscal 1993, the company accrued for incremental tax obligations related to such options. Those accruals reduced earnings by $.06 a share as compared to last year's third quarter.
 Morton International is a Chicago-based manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals, automotive inflatable restraint systems and salt.
 MORTON INTERNATIONAL
 Comparative results through March 31
 (In millions, except per share data)
 Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
 March 31 March 31
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Net sales $ 648.3 $ 555.0 $1,731.6 $1,538.4
 Interest, royalties
 and sundry income 3.6 6.0 12.8 14.3
 651.9 561.0 1,744.4 1,552.7
 Deductions from income:
 Cost of products sold 449.0 382.9 1,194.9 1,055.0
 Selling, administrative and
 general expense 97.7 84.9 275.0 243.1
 Research and development
 expense 16.1 16.2 50.4 44.9
 Interest expense 8.6 8.4 25.5 25.5
 Amortization of goodwill 2.7 2.7 8.0 8.0
 Income taxes 28.4 24.7 69.6 66.1
 602.5 519.8 1,623.4 1,442.6
 Net income $ 49.4 $ 41.2 $ 121.0 $ 110.1
 Net Income per share $ 1.00 $ .84 $ 2.46 $ 2.25
 Average shares
 outstanding (in thousands) 49,259 49,005
 Business Segment Information Three Months Ended Nine Months
 Ended
 March 31 March 31
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Sales
 Specialty Chemicals $ 325.2 $ 313.4 $940.9 $902.3
 Salt 183.3 153.9 422.0 394.4
 Automotive Safety Products 139.8 87.7 368.7 241.7
 $ 648.3 $ 555.0 $1,731.6 $1,538.4
 Profit(A)
 Specialty Chemicals $ 38.6 $ 39.1 $ 113.6 $ 113.2
 Salt 42.0 33.0 89.4 82.2
 Automotive Safety Products 24.0 12.9 57.8 37.9
 $ 104.6 $ 85.0 $ 260.8 $ 233.3
 (A) Business segment profit is before income taxes, interest income, interest expense and allocation of corporate administrative expenses.
 -0- 4/15/93
 /CONTACT: Nancy A. Hobor, 312-807-2424, or Janis K. Tratnik, 312-807-2435, of Morton International/
 (MII)


CO: Morton International ST: Illinois IN: CHM SU: ERN

PS -- NY028 -- 6105 04/15/93 10:10 EDT
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