Home Depot Inc. (HD), the largest home improvement retailer, reported better-than-expected quarterly results. The numbers suggest that consumers are investing in their most valuable assets -- their homes -- as the economy continues its slow climb out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Net income in the Atlanta-based company fiscal first quarter was $514 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with $356 million, or 21 cents, in the same period in fiscal 2008. Sales for the first quarter fell 9.7 percent to $16.2 billion. Comparable store sales for the first quarter were negative 10.2 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were negative 8.6 percent.