Every week, I look at a few companies that have surpassed their profit targets. Leaving Wall Street's pros with quizzical expressions usually means the companies have more in the tank than analysts figured, and capital appreciation often follows.
Let's examine at a few companies that humbled the prognosticators over the past few trading days.
The victory probably didn't surprise market watchers. SINA relies on online advertising for all but a third of its revenue, and other interactive-marketing specialists, such as Sohu.com (Nasdaq: SOHU ) and Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU ) , had come through with great quarterly reports covering the same period.
Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI ) is another topper. The DVD-rental chain delivered a surprisingly robust first-quarter profit of $0.20 a share. Wall Street's profit target was set at just $0.15. Merchandising improvement led the way, and even the company's Total Access online subscription plan was profitable. Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) may not be quivering in fear, but it's refreshing to see Blockbuster get things right both online and offline for a change.
Finally, we have Giant Interactive (NYSE: GA ) coming up big. The online-gaming specialist in China is milking its popular ZT Online game. The company's $0.20-per-share profit beat analyst estimates of $0.16. China's government is watching this niche carefully, especially given its addictive appeal with the country's youth, but a boom in leisurely pursuits is typical in rapidly emerging economies.
So keep watching the companies that exceed expectations, because the market rewards the overachievers. Those are the kind of surprises we look for in the Rule Breakers newsletter service. Want in? Check out a 30-day trial subscription. And come back next Monday to learn about more stocks that blew the market away.