Valero Energy Corp posted a better-than-expected first quarter profit as the independent U.S. refiner benefited from higher refining margins.
The company said refining margins, or the difference between buying of crude and average selling price of refined products, rose 6.1 percent to $2.21 billion in the first quarter ended March 31.
Valero has a diverse set of refineries that allows it to take advantage of volatile crude price differentials and process lower-quality feedstock into high value refined products.
Net income attributable to company shareholders rose to $469 million, or $1.09 per share, from $305 million, or $0.68 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, Valero earned $1 per share, beating analysts' average estimate by 6 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue rose to $26.44 billion from $21.77 billion.
Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan