Eli Lilly says profit falls, to mull sale of animal health business

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Oct 24 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co, one of the world's top insulin-makers, on Tuesday reported a better than expected third-quarter profit, and said it was reviewing options, including a sale or an IPO, for its Elanco Animal Health business.

The drugmaker, whose animal health business brought in $740.6 million in the latest quarter, said it would provide an update on its plans for Elanco no later than the middle of 2018.

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Lilly also said it was exploring strategic options, including a sale, of Posilac, a supplement to boost dairy cow productivity that it acquired from Monsanto Co in 2008.

The Indianoplis-based company said its net income fell to $555.6 million, or 53 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sep. 30, from $778 million, or 73 cents per share, a year earlier.

The latest quarter included severance charges as well as a $406.5 million asset impairment charge partly due to lower projected revenues for Posilac.

Excluding items, Lilly earned $1.05 per share.

Revenue rose nearly 9 percent to $5.66 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.03 per share, on revenue of $5.52 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)