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

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.

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)