Don't settle for ordinary quarterly reports.

I take a look at three companies that beat market expectations every week, since I believe that it's the biggest factor in a stock beating the market. Leaving Wall Street's pros with stunned expressions can be a good thing. It usually means that the companies have more in the tank than analysts figured. Capital appreciation typically follows.

Let's take a look at a few companies that humbled the pros over the past few trading days.

We can start with Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU).

China's leading search engine saw its second-quarter profit soar 70% to $1.24 a share. Analysts were only expecting net income of $1.12 a share.

Now, it's true that Baidu benefited from the reversal of a tax provision that lowered the dot-com darling's effective tax rate to 7.9%. If Baidu would've faced the prior year's second quarter tax rate of 14.9% profitability would have been right at where the pros were perched. However, it's hard to deny that Baidu didn't have a strong quarter when pre-tax profits still rose by a sharp 56%.

Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM) was another winner. The top content-delivery network checked in with an adjusted quarterly profit of $0.43 a share, well ahead of the $0.37 a share that analysts were forecasting. The report bodes well for smaller rival Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW), which checks in on Thursday.

Finally, we have iRobot (Nasdaq: IRBT) outsmarting the humans. It's something that the company behind the Roomba vacuum-cleaning orb and the PackBot military robot has been doing for ages. iRobot has beaten Wall Street estimates -- by at least double-digit percentage margins -- for 12 consecutive quarters.

Last week was a big one, though. Analysts were betting on quarterly earnings of $0.09 a share, but iRobot nearly tripled that sum with a profit of $0.26 a share.

Moving in the right direction
It's important to keep watching the companies that surpass expectations. Over time, it will be a lucrative experience for investors as the market rewards the overachievers. That's the kind of surprise that we look forĀ in the Rule Breakers newsletter service. Want in? Check out a 30-day trial subscription. If that's not up your alley just yet, you can still check out a free special report detailing the next trillion-dollar revolution.

Either way, come back next week to learn about more stocks that blew the market away in the coming days.