Every week, I take a look at a few companies that lapped their profit targets. Leaving Wall Street's pros with quizzical looks on their faces can be a good thing. It usually means that the companies have more in the tank than analysts had figured, and capital appreciation often follows.

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

We can start with Disney (NYSE:DIS). The family entertainment giant earned $0.42 a share for its fourth quarter, just ahead of the $0.41 per share that the pros were looking for. What's a penny between mouse ears? Plenty. Every since Bob Iger took over as CEO two years ago, Disney has reported better-than-expected results every single time.

Disney was powered by strength at its theme parks and media networks. Disney always seems to be doing something right, more than enough to offset subsidiaries that are stacked up against tough comparables (as Disney's movie studio division was in the latest quarter).

Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE) is another topper. Sure, one can snap up quality jewelry at many online retailers. Places like Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Overstock (NASDAQ:OSTK) can get you a pretty sweet deal on those rhinestone cufflinks or that diamond pendant. However, Blue Nile has established itself as the primo choice for engagement rings.

How cool is it to become the brand in something as pricey as diamond "marry me" rings?  Let's just say that the average order size at Blue Nile is a juicy $2,093. That's the kind of momentum that makes it all too easy to leave Wall Street behind, the way Blue Nile has done in all but one quarter since going public three years ago. Last week it posted a 64% increase in third-quarter profitability to $0.18 a share.

Bankrate (NASDAQ:RATE), the leading source for interest rate information, earned $0.39 a share before stock-based compensation expenses during the third quarter. The market was braced for $0.35 per share on that basis, far more than the $0.21 a share it earned a year ago, or a 45% advance on the bottom line.

Finally, we have Ctrip.com (NASDAQ:CTRP). China's top online travel site earned $0.21 a share -- or $0.26 a share before stock-based compensation expenses -- in its latest quarter. The market was ready to settle for a $0.17-per-share showing. If Ctrip is doing so well now, can you just imagine how well it's going to be doing by this time next year, when it's adding up its proceeds from the Olympic Games in Beijing?

So, keep watching the companies that lap expectations. Over time, it will be a rewarding experience for investors as the market recognizes the overachievers. That's the kind of surprise we look for in the Rule Breakers newsletter service. Want in? Check out a 30-day free trial.

Either way, come back next Monday to learn about more stocks that blew the market away.

Bankrate is a Rule Breakers pick. Blue Nile and Ctrip are Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendations, while Disney and Amazon.com are Stock Advisor recommendations. Read all of the original recommendation reports -- now -- with a free 30-day trial.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of toppers. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, save for Disney. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.