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 over the past few trading days.

We can start with The9 (NASDAQ:NCTY). The Chinese online gaming company that is best known for hooking China's diehard fantasy gamers on its licensed version of World of Warcraft earned $0.46 a share in its latest quarter, well ahead of the $0.32 a share that Mr. Market was expecting.

Rivals like Giant Interactive (NYSE:GA) and Perfect World (NASDAQ:PWRD) also came through with monster results. It's encouraging to see a market that's expanding so quickly; nearly every player is hitting it out.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) is another topper. The printing and computing company's second-quarter profit climbed 24% to $0.87 a share. Wall Street's guesstimates were just $0.85 a share, but what else is new? HP has topped analyst profit targets every single quarter since CEO Mark Hurd took over. Bumping up against desperate Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and market-share-swallowing Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), HP continues to improve its margins in a tricky climate.

Finally, we have Target (NYSE:TGT) landing above its target. The discount department store chain's quarterly income dropped to $0.74 a share. Investors were braced for just $0.71 a share.

Target isn't perfect. Sales are down, but it's good to see the retailer produce back-to-back quarters of better-than-expected profitability.

So, keep watching the companies that lap expectations. Over time, it will become 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.

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