Thiokol Corp. reported net income of $11.6 million or 60 cents per share for the third fiscal quarter ended March 31, up 10 percent from the $10.5 million or 54 cents per share in the same period last year.

The company also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 7.5 cents per common share payable June 11 to stockholders of record May 31.Net sales for the three-month period were $307.9 million, an 8 percent increase over $285.7 million for the same period last year.

Net income for the nine months ended March 31 increased 19 percent to $34.8 million or $1.81 per share versus $29.2 million or $1.51 per share for the third fiscal quarter of the prior year.

"This quarter's positive results were highlighted by significant increases in sales and profit margins in our strategic and tactical operations," said U. Edwin Garrison, president and chief executive officer.

"Higher interest income on short-term investments also contributed to the earnings gain. We believe our positive earnings trend will continue for the fourth quarter resulting in good earnings growth for this fiscal year."

Also contributing to the higher net income for the third quarter, the company said, was a large increase in interest income due to higher levels of short-term investments during the quarter.

Thiokol manufactures and markets solid propulsion systems, ordnance and composite products for space and defense.