Johnson Controls on Thursday reported that for the first quarter of fiscal 2003 diluted earnings per share increased 17% to $1.48 from $1.27 for the first quarter of fiscal 2002; and sales increased 8% to $5.2 billion from $4.8 billion last year. For the three months ended December 31, 2002, operating income increased 4% to $247.9 million compared with $238.5 million for the prior year. Income before income taxes and minority interests rose 8% primarily because of the higher operating income and an increase in equity income. Net income increased 17% to $140.4 million from $119.9 million for the first quarter of 2002 aided by, as previously forecast, a decline in the effective income tax rate to 31.0% from 35.9%.