Will Air Bags Cushion The New Morton?

When Morton Thiokol Inc. spun off its aeronautics business in mid-1989, Chairman Charles S. Locke hoped to take his company on a profitable new course--one free of painful associations. After all, a faulty booster rocket made by Morton Thiokol triggered the 1986 Challenger space-shuttle explosion and marred the outlook for the once-thriving aeronautics unit. Now, both the business and the Thiokol name have been jettisoned. But that leaves the refashioned Morton International Inc. decidedly earthbound. It is dominated by a clutch of slow-growing businesses in salt and specialty chemicals.

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