NEW YORK — Lowe's third-quarter profit handily topped Wall Street's view, thanks in part to the strong economy and sales to contractors. The home-improvement company boosted its full-year adjusted earnings outlook.

The retailer, the nation's second-largest home improvement chain behind Home Depot, also said it plans to reorganize its Canada operations and shut 34 underperforming stores.

Shares edged higher in midday trading while the broader markets declined.

The announcement comes a day after disappointing results from rival Home Depot, which reported its third-quarter revenue missed analysts' estimates and cut its full-year sales forecast. Home Depot said its strategy to meld its online business and its physical stores is taking longer to deliver benefits. Shares of Home Depot took a hit.

The contrasting quarterly performances highlights the increasing competition between Home Depot and Lowe's, which is in the process of an overhaul under its CEO Marvin Ellison.

Ellison, a one-time Home Depot executive who took the top job at Lowe's last year, is trying to reshape the culture at Lowe's, which had been a distant second to Home Depot in the sector for a while. Ellison has been focusing on getting Lowe's back to the fundamentals of retailing, like making sure the right items are in stock and improving customer service.

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