Making money is nice. Making more money than expected is even nicer. That's the beauty of tracking companies that beat their profit targets. It's more money for a company, sure, but it's also a great indicator of future upside surprises (until analysts catch on).

Let's take a look at a few of these beaters that humbled the prognosticators this past week.

We'll start with Steiner Leisure (NASDAQ:STNR). One would think that something as simple as running luxurious spas on most major cruise lines would be an easy financial model to get right. Thankfully for investors, it hasn't worked out that way. Steiner earned $0.66 a share from continuing operations this past quarter, though the market was only banking on the smooth-sailing operator to chart $0.64 in profitability per share.

Surprised? I sure wasn't. This is exactly what the company has done in 17 of the last 18 quarters. And the one time that it didn't leave the pros wailing in its wake, it simply met Wall Street's target, which had been raised a week earlier. Naturally, the market can rally around that kind of perpetual market-thumping performance. The stock has actually more than doubled since I recommended it to Rule Breakers subscribers two years ago.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) was another topper; the DVD rental specialist earned $0.18 a share -- or $0.21 a share before stock-based compensation charges -- in the September quarter. Silly analysts, they were expecting the popular Stock Advisor recommendation to earn just $0.12 a share for the period.

Then we have (NASDAQ:AMZN), another Stock Advisor pick that did its believers proud last week. During its seasonally sleepy third quarter, the leading online retailer earned $0.05 a share. Wall Street figured that the company would only muster a profit of $0.03 a stub.

Amazon turning a profit has become a common occurrence, even as smaller online retailers like Bluefly (NASDAQ:BFLY), Red Envelope (NASDAQ:REDE), and (NASDAQ:DSCM) continue to struggle in the red more often than not. A healthy Amazon that is actually accelerating its sales growth rate may wind up being a good omen for the industry as it heads into the holiday shopping season, and it's definitely a good omen for Amazon itself.

So, keep watching the companies that lap expectations. Over time, it will be a rewarding experience for investors as the market rewards the overachievers. That's the kind of surprise we look for in the Rule Breakers newsletter service. 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 own shares in Netflix. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Foo l has a disclosure policy.