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 figured and capital appreciation often follows.

Let's take a look at a few companies that humbled the prognosticators over the past few trading days.

We can start with Sealy (NYSE: ZZ). The leading mattress maker didn't wake up grumpy when it posted a quarterly profit of $0.17 a share, comfortably ahead of the $0.10 a share that sheep-counting analysts were expecting.

Investors were surprised, especially after premium specialty mattress makers Select Comfort (Nasdaq: SCSS) and Tempur-Pedic (NYSE: TPX) came up short in their latest quarters. Sealy still has gobs of debt, negative book value, and a domestic slowdown to reverse, but it's nice to know that things could have been worse.

Chattem (Nasdaq: CHTT) also cleaned up nicely. The company behind drugstore staples like Gold Bond, Icy Hot, and Aspercreme earned $1.01 a share before stock-based compensation and charges related to a product recall. Investors were braced for a profit of just $0.95 a share.

Finally, we have Pier 1 (NYSE: PIR) with a rousing hero's welcome for its latest port of call. The home-furnishings retailer earned $0.16 a share, more than double the $0.07-a-share profit target that Wall Street had set up.

These obviously aren't ideal times for the industry, but companies like Pier 1, Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM), and Bed Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq: BBBY) have come through with market-topping reports at a time when many of their rivals are buckling.

So keep watching the companies that lap expectations. Over time, it will be a worthwhile 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.

Bed, Bath, & Beyond is a pick in both the Stock Advisor and Inside Value newsletter services. A free trial subscription is waiting with your name on it if you want to learn more.

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 Select Comfort. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bed Bath & Beyond. The Fool has a disclosure policy.