CoStar Group (NASDAQ:CSGP) reported second-quarter results on July 26. The provider of commercial real estate analytics and online marketplaces beat its own expectations for sales growth, prompting it to boost its revenue and earnings forecast for the year ahead.

CoStar Group results: The raw numbers

Metric

Q2 2017

Q2 2016

Year-Over-Year change

Revenue

$237.153 million

$206.869 million

15%

Net Income

$22.184 million

$15.576 million

42%

Earnings per share

$0.68

$0.48

42%

Data source: CoStar Group Q2 2017 earnings press release.

What happened with CoStar Group this quarter?

Companywide bookings jumped 39% year over year to a record $37 million, fueled in part by CoStar's efforts to expand its sales force, as founder and CEO Andrew Florance explained during a conference call with analysts:

We've had a strong start to 2017 in sales, as we've achieved $71 million of net bookings in the first half of the year, up 26% from the same year-to-date period in the year prior. We're clearly benefiting from the impact of our investment into our larger sales organization, which increased in size by 40% compared to the beginning of last year.

A dial with the word "sales" on it turned to high

CoStar is ramping up its sales division. Image source: Getty Images.

These investments also helped to boost CoStar's revenue, which increased 15% to $237 million. The company saw growth in all of its major product lines, including CoStar Suite (up 13%), commercial property and land marketplaces (up 17%), and Apartments.com (up 24%).

CoStar's growth investments did, however, weigh on its profits. EBITDA -- adjusted to exclude stock-based compensation, acquisition-related costs, and certain other items -- fell 3% to $54 million. And adjusted (non-GAAP) net income declined 4% to $28 million, or $0.86 per share.

Looking forward

These results prompted CoStar to raise its full-year 2017 financial guidance. Revenue is now expected to be between $954 million and $960 million, up from a previous forecast of $945 million and $955 million. And non-GAAP EPS is projected to be in the range of $4.42 to $4.52, versus prior estimates of $4.30 to $4.40.

In addition, CoStar said it remains on track to reach its goal of achieving a 40% adjusted EBITDA margin by the end of 2018.

"We achieved an excellent first half of 2017 as our investments into the business, along with tremendous execution on all levels by the CoStar team, resulted in remarkable increases in sales and revenue growth," Florance added. "We have excellent momentum heading into the second half of this year."

Joe Tenebruso has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends CoStar Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.