MetLife Inc. (MET) reported Thursday a net income of $3.55 billion for the third quarter, up from $286 million last year. Excluding certain items, the insurance company earned $1.18 billion for the quarter, up from $958 million a year ago and down slightly from $1.2 billion last quarter. Earnings per share were $1.11 in the third quarter, a slight increase from last year's $1.08 per share. MetLife reported $785 billion in total assets for the quarter, up from $617 billion in total assets a year ago. The insurance giant's total liabilities were $724 billion at Sept. 30, an increase from $570 billion a year earlier. Earlier Thursday, the company reaffirmed its desire to sell its depository and mortgage origination businesses. MetLife held $62.9 billion in mortgages in the third quarter. Write to Andrew Scoggin. Follow him on Twitter @ascoggin.