A good stock really distinguishes itself when its share price rises above that of a prominent market index. In some way, it hovers above the rest of the vast pack of equities.

With the depth and breadth of the U.S. market, there are always a few standouts. For this week, let's take a look at two good ones, and see what made them rise confidently above the average.

Stock market graph with two rising lines.

Image source: Getty Images.


One big winner among tech stocks over the past five trading days was data analytics solutions provider Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK). Posting a solid, estimates-trouncing quarter will do that to a stock.

Late in the week, Splunk released its Q3 of fiscal 2020 earnings, which topped analyst expectations not only for this quarter, but also for Q4. Revenue came in at $626 million, which was up by 30% on a year-over-year basis. Non-GAAP (adjusted) net profit was just over $91 million ($0.58 per share) for a sturdy 58% improvement.

On average, analysts had only been estimating $604 million on the top line and an adjusted per-share net profit of $0.54. And the company's revenue guidance for Q4 assumes $780 million, comfortably above the $768 million modeled by prognosticators.

Splunk's robust growth is an encouraging mix of both organic revenue improvement, and smart, complementary acquisitions. A shift toward recurring revenue also contributed. Investors like the recurring variety, as it makes future results a bit more predictable and tends to bring in more cash over the long term.

Splunk is well-positioned for more growth as enterprise clients require deeper and more useful means of sifting through increasingly higher piles of data. Although the company's nearly 18% rise in share price over the week might give some pause, the stock remains cheap given the company's still-strong potential. Investors should consider buying this stock.


Another outperformer this week was next-generation financial services provider Square (NYSE:SQ). The stock saw an increase of nearly 5% during the period.

As a consumer, you're probably familiar with Square. The company provides the hardware and software for those point-of-sale tablet computer sales registers. These days, those terminals are becoming nearly as ubiquitous as the typewriter-style ones prevalent in the good old days of the cash economy.

Increasing ubiquity makes for sturdy growth and has attracted not only investors to the stock, but also famous market pundits. Square's CFO Amrita Ahuja appeared on Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV show to expound on the company's performance and plans for growth. Cramer is fond of interviewing executives from companies he's bullish on.

There's plenty of reason to be optimistic about the company's future. Square has cleverly built out an ecosystem for its clientele. By hooking into it, users can  conduct activities like source business loans and make deposits into company bank accounts that show up instantaneously. This increases customer "stickiness" and diversifies the revenue stream.

Square's recent price bump pushes the company's five-year PEG ratio over 2. Yes, that's pricey, but I think the company's ever-widening ecosystem combined with an organic rise in the customer base will result in continued strong growth. This stock is a buy for me.