What happened

Shares of mattress maker Tempur Sealy International (TPX -1.30%) rose a touch over 15% as trading got underway on July 19. The big story was earnings, which were released before the open today. Investors clearly liked the update. Here's why.

So what

Tempur Sealy's second-quarter 2021 sales increased roughly 76% over the same period in 2020. Adjusted gross margin improved 370 basis points year over year.

Net income rose more than 500% compared to the same stanza of 2021. And adjusted second-quarter 2021 earnings per share of $0.79 was up from earnings of just $0.20 last year. Those are solid results, so it's hardly shocking that investors were upbeat here.

A couple sitting in bed looking at a computer.

Image source: Getty Images.

However, there was more in these results than meets the eye. Notably, 2020 performance was materially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. So this quarter was a fairly easy comparison. Which is why it was nice to see that sales increased by 62% over 2019 levels -- a period from before the pandemic. And, despite physical store reopenings, online sales increased 125% in the quarter compared to the same quarter of 2020. That suggests that Tempur Sealy is doing fairly well in this increasingly important sales channel. Management was so pleased with its results that it predicted double-digit earnings growth in 2022 and "beyond." That's good news on top of good news.

Now what

Given that backdrop, it's hardly shocking that investors bid the shares of Tempur Sealy higher today. However, that wasn't all of the good news the company had to share. In addition to the earnings release, the company also announced a 30% dividend hike. All in, it looks like the company not only weathered the pandemic in stride, but is now ready to reward long-term dividend investors for sticking around.