While COVID-19 has put many companies, big and small, out of business, some have seen explosive growth tied to the pandemic. Home Depot (HD 0.01%) sales soared 23% in the second quarter as customers under lockdown focused on home improvement projects, and investments the company made in 2019 have started to pay off.

Loads of sales

Home Depot took in more than $38 billion in revenue during the quarter. U.S. comps increased 25%, and earnings per share shot up to $4.02 from $3.17 last year. The company also spent $480 million on extra employee benefits.

Home Depot paint associate.

Image source: Home Depot.

The home improvement giant's earnings had been hampered previously as it invested in its One Home Depot strategy, which aimed to revamp its digital model and create a more agile business. It was a good time to accomplish that, as the company was able to reap the benefits of a solid system and make the most of a renewed interest in do-it-yourself home improvement projects. CEO Craig Menear said in a company statement, "The investments we have made across the business have significantly increased our agility, allowing us to respond quickly to changes while continuing to promote a safe operating environment." 

In the 2019 third quarter, earnings missed estimates due to some miscalculations about how long the investments would need to go on and how long they would take to pay off. At the time, Menear said the "investments are significant and long-term in nature." While the company returned to form in the fourth and first quarters, this is the real payoff.

Keeping the dividend momentum

Home Depot also announced a $1.50 quarterly dividend as other companies are suspending theirs due to their cash considerations. It's the company's 134th consecutive quarterly payout. The company's shares are up 32% year to date.