Profit targets exist for a reason. When a company comes out ahead, it's usually an indication that things are going better than even the analytical pros had bargained for. Those companies bear watching because they stand a pretty good chance of repeating the feat if the model munchers are still left behind.
That said, let's take a closer look at a few of the companies that humbled the prognosticators this past week.
We'll start with Dell Computer
Strength overseas and in its enterprise business helped pave the way for the solid showing. Unfortunately, the company did warn about weakness in the current fiscal first quarter, and that weighed heavy on the stock's performance. Long-term investors shouldn't see that as a bad thing necessarily, though, since it gives Dell's aggressive share-buyback plan the opportunity to gobble up more outstanding stock at lower prices.
It's about time Wild Oats gets it right, quite frankly. A few years ago, it was leading the pack as one of two chains -- the other being, of course, Whole Foods Market
Keep following Wild Oats over the next few quarters. The company has offered a glimpse of its potential in the past before coming undone. If it's able to stay on track through the early part of the year, it may finally become the growth stock that investors have been waiting on for organically grown ages.
So keep watching the companies that lap expectations. Over time, it will be a rewarding experience -- the kind that market-watchers relish in the Rule Breakers newsletter service. The strategy has paid off, with the average Rule Breakers selection having trounced the S&P 500's market return. Want in? Check out a 30-day trial subscription.
Either way, come back next Monday to learn about more stocks that blew the market away.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of toppers. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.