Home Depot Inc's quarterly profit beat Wall Street estimates as a warm winter pulled some spring demand forward, boosting sales at the world's largest home improvement chain.

Net income rose to $774 million, or 50 cents a share, in the fourth quarter ended on January 29 from $587 million, or 36 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 42 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose 5.9 percent to $16.01 billion, well ahead of the analysts' average estimate of $15.51 billion.

Sales at stores open at least a year rose 5.7 percent globally, including a 6.1 percent rise in the United States.

The company's shares were up 1.8 percent at $47.54 in premarket trading.

Besides the warm winter, Home Depot benefited from having more centralized distribution centers and from recent efforts to shift more employees to jobs where they serve customers directly. It has also been quicker to cut costs than smaller rival Lowe's Cos Inc .

Lowe's is due to report its results next week.

(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)