Building on the Recovery

By Kyle Stock

Home Depot posted a better-than-expected $1.23 billion in profit in its fiscal first quarter, an 18 percent increase from the previous year, as the housing recovery buttressed spending by contractors. The retailer said shoppers visited its stores more often and spent more, with the average purchase rising 5 percent as customers tackled more lavish home-improvement projects. Lowe’s wasn’t so lucky. It reported a disappointing 2.5 percent income gain for its first quarter, citing damp weather that chilled sales of garden supplies. • GrubHub and Seamless North America, two websites that process takeout orders for thousands of restaurants, have cooked up a merger. The two had combined revenues of more than $100 million in 2012. The union must be blessed by antitrust regulators before it can go forward. • The coup attempt failed. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon won a shareholder vote on whether he should relinquish his chairmanship hat. Less than one-third of those voting said Dimon should vacate the seat, down from 40 percent last year. • Goldman Sachs ended its seven-year investment in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, selling a $1.1 billion stake at a 2.5 percent discount to recent market rates. Citigroup and Bank of America have also pared their Chinese holdings, spurred by new capital rules, known as Basel III, that make it more expensive to hold minority stakes in banks. • Ford is boosting capacity at plants in North America by about 6 percent to meet rising demand for its F-Series pickups and Fusion sedans. Part of the increase will be achieved by idling assembly lines for just one week this summer, instead of the customary two.

1.6 million: Number of customers lost by traditional cable companies in the past year, according to a report by Leichtman Research Group

World Nutella Day is back on. Ferrero, the maker of the hazelnut and chocolate spread, backed off its decision to quash the holiday. It had sent a cease-and-desist letter to blogger Sara Rosso, who came up with the grass-roots campaign.

CEO Wisdom

“While we never had a large presence in this town, we are deeply committed to our country’s welfare.”

Tim Cook, testifying on Capitol Hill about Apple’s use of tax shelters


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