SAN ANTONIO ( TheStreet) -- Valero Energy ( VLO) swung to an adjusted profit in the fourth quarter on a surge in global demand for oil and refined products.

Valero reported fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $180 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $131 million, or 23 cents a share.

Analysts expected earnings of 32 cents a share.

The latest quarter includes a gain of $36 million, or 6 cents a share, on the sale of the company's interest in Cameron Highway Oil Pipeline Co. and a loss of $80 million, or 14 cents a share, from the mark-to-market impact of positions related to forward sales of refined products.

The net loss in the quarter was $438 million, or 77 cents a share, vs. a year-earlier loss of $1.41 billion, or $2.51 a share.

Valero said revenue increased to $22.16 billion from $17.88 billion a year earlier.

"What a difference a year makes," said Valero Chairman and CEO Bill Klesse, in a statement. "The global economic recovery is underway with very strong growth in developing countries contributing to a surge in global demand for oil and refined products. "

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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