UPDATE 1-Valero Energy's quarterly profit climbs, CST sale helps
Jan 29 (Reuters) - Valero Energy Corp on Wednesday said its fourth-quarter profit rose, topping estimates, as the largest independent U.S. refiner processed more crude and sold its interest in its retail business, CST Brands Inc.
Profit in the quarter was $1.3 billion, or $2.38 per share, compared with $1 billion, or $1.82 per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.
Excluding items including a $325 million gain on CST, Valero had a profit of $1.78 per share. Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.66 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Last week, Valero said it expected its earnings excluding items to top analysts' estimates as it processed more oil and benefited from steeper discounts for some grades of crude.
Shares of Valero rose to $50.41 in premarket trade, up from Tuesday's New York Stock Exchange close of $50.20.
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