ATLANTA-With help from the sale of a portion of its equity ownership in HD Supply Holdings, The Home Depot realized a 12.5 percent gain in first-quarter net income, which totaled $1.4 billion.
That sale resulted in an earnings benefit, net of tax, of $61 million. Net sales increased 2.9 percent to $19.7 billion in the quarter, which ended on May 4. This included a rise of 2.6 percent in same-store sales.
Frank Blake, Home Depot’s chairman and CEO, said the quarter, which brought the beginning of the spring selling season, got off to a slow start. However, sales were solid in regions which were not affected by the weather, Blake said.
Gross margin in the quarter edged up five basis points to 35 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 0.3 percent but dropped 57 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 21.3 percent.
Home Depot said it expects sales for the fiscal year as a whole to gain 4.8 percent, in line with its previous guidance.