UPDATE 1-Phillips 66 quarterly profit up on improved refining margins

Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:29am EST

Jan 29 (Reuters) - U.S. refining company Phillips 66 said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit rose, topping Wall Street estimates, as refining margins were better than anticipated.

The Houston-based company had a quarterly profit of $826 million, or $1.37 per share, compared with $708 million, or $1.11 per share in the same quarter a year earlier.

Adjusting for certain items, Phillips 66 had a per share profit of $1.34. Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.10 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Analysts at Houston-based energy investment bank Simmons & Co said Phillips earnings beat was driven by robust refining gross margins.

Still, the company's marketing, chemical and transportation and processing businesses fell short of Simmons' expectations, the firm said in a note to clients.

Shares of Phillips fell to $73.01 in premarket trade from Tuesday's New York Stock Exchange close of $75.08.