UPDATE 4-Phillips 66 quarterly profit up on good margins

Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:19pm EDT
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* Shares rise 1.4 percent, then retreat

* Margins top expectations -analyst

* Increased access to cheaper U.S., Canada crude helped (Adds details on company's refining capacity in paragraphs 2 and 9)

By Kristen Hays and Anna Driver

HOUSTON, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Phillips 66's increased access to cheaper crude oil from the United States and Canada boosted its quarterly profits above analyst expectations after the U.S. refining company spun off from ConocoPhillips earlier this year, the company reported on Wednesday.

More than half of the company's refining capacity is on the Gulf Coast and in the central corridor of the United States with access to those cheaper crudes in North Dakota, Texas, Kansas and other states, executives told analysts during Phillips 66's third-quarter earnings conference call.

"Our U.S. advantaged crudes increased from 52 percent last year to 61 percent to date in 2012," Chief Financial Officer Greg Maxwell said.

Shares rose 1.4 percent in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange, but later fell less than 1 percent to 47.14.

Those advantages stem from efforts to beef up logistics, such as pipeline and rail connections, to gain access new crude sources, said Tim Taylor, executive vice president of commercial, marketing, transportation and business development.   Continued...