What happened

Shares of Lowe's Companies (LOW -1.44%) popped 9.6% on Wednesday after the home improvement retailer delivered solid second-quarter results.  

So what

Lowe's total sales rose 1% year over year to $27.6 billion. That was above Wall Street's estimates for revenue of $26.9 billion. 

The better-than-expected performance was driven by robust growth in Lowe's professional and installation services. Sales in those segments increased 21% and 10%, respectively. A 7% rise in e-commerce sales also contributed to the gains.

A carpenter is blowing sawdust off a wooden table.

Lowe's Companies is winning more business from professional contractors. Image source: Getty Images.

"Our strong results this quarter demonstrate that our Total Home strategy is working, with U.S. sales comps up 32% on a two-year basis," CEO Marvin Ellison said in a press release.

Better still, the company's productivity initiatives are helping Lowe's become more profitable as it expands its revenue base. Its adjusted earnings, in turn, jumped 13% to $4.25 per share. That, too, bested analysts' expectations, which had called for earnings per share of only $4.01. 

Now what 

These results prompted management to boost its full-year sales forecast from $86 billion to $92 billion. Lowe's also expects its operating margin to improve to 12.2%, up from 10.8% in 2020. 

"Looking forward, I am confident in the positive outlook for our industry, and our ability to drive operating margin expansion and market share gains," Ellison said.