I went out on a limb two weeks ago, singling out seven stocks that have a tendency to smoke past Wall Street's guesstimates. I figured that these would be the stocks to underpromise and overdeliver, driving nervous growth stock investors back into the market as each one stepped up to deliver quarterly earnings last week.

How did I do? How did they do?

Well, it was definitely a mixed bag. Most of the stocks did come through with better-than-expected earnings, but the stocks went flying in different directions for different reasons.

Let's take a look at the scorecard.

 

Est.

Actual

Diff.

Perf.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

1.08

1.19

10.2%

(1.8%)

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG)

1.18

1.28

8.5%

11.6%

Hasbro (NYSE:HAS)

0.22

0.25

13.6%

6.4%

Chipotle (NYSE:CMG)

0.75

0.74

(1.3%)

(17.0%)

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)

0.26

0.37

42.3%

13.3%

BMC Software (NYSE:BMC)

0.43

0.43

0.0%

(9.1%)

Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU)

0.97

1.11

14.4%

14.0%

* Performance refers to last week's stock gain or loss.

In a nutshell, five of the seven stocks easily topped analyst profit targets. BMC simply met expectations, while the burrito rollers at Chipotle Mexican Grill were the only miss. That would score win-loss-tie columns as an attractive 5-1-1 performance, but three of the stocks actually lost ground during last week's trading activity. Let's move in for a closer look.

Breaking it down
Chipotle and BMC were the only two picks to fail in humbling Mr. Market with their bottom-line performance, and they were also the two big losers. Chipotle was the real stinker, with shares falling nearly 20% lower after a rare quarterly miss from the company. The quick-service Mexican food chain had lapped Wall Street's profit targets in nine of its first 10 quarters as a public company. Now that winning streak hangs at a still respectable nine of 11 quarters.

With earnings still climbing 23% higher and comps scoring a 7.1% improvement, most restaurants would give golden spatulas to perform that well in a tough operating climate. Unfortunately, Chipotle's stock is priced for headier growth expectations. Chipotle should bounce back nicely when consumers begin eating out more under improving economic conditions.

BMC fell, despite nailing income guesstimates and reaffirming its fiscal year outlook. However, gravity has a funny way of punishing growth stocks when they merely meet expectations.

Apple was the third of the stocks to dip, though it quickly made back most of its intraday losses. Yes, Apple has now beaten the pros in each of the past 22 quarters, but the company's soft guidance and concerns over diminishing margins stung the stock. Still, Apple has an uncanny knack to bounce back quickly, and only surrendered 1.8% of its value during the rocky week.

On the upside
Offsetting last week's downers were the four winners, three of which appreciated with double-digit percentage gains.

Baidu led the way, as China's leading Internet search engine blew past the market's seemingly lofty predictions. Intuitive Surgical kept one of the most impressive streaks in the investing space going, now having topped Wall Street's consensus quarterly income estimates a mind-boggling 23 consecutive times.

Hasbro is working on a more modest streak, but the toymaker has bucked its sector's volatility to deliver five straight quarters of market-topping results.

Then we have Amazon, climbing 13% as it once again defied the cynics who question the leading online retailer's ability to take such commanding growth steps for a company so large.

The end result is that average gain of 2.5% among the seven stocks did beat the Nasdaq's 1.2% gain, and naturally the S&P 500's 0.2% slide. I'm happy with that, but my theory that these seven stocks would unite forces to woo back Joe and Jane Investor didn't entirely pan out. The growth-oriented Nasdaq Composite did have a very healthy week, but the more mainstream Dow and S&P 500 indices fell.

So I guess one can say that I did go out on a limb, but I wasn't able to save the whole tree. Oh well, that will give me more time to work on attaining a green thumb.

Other worthy reviews:

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. Intuitive Surgical, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Baidu.com are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Hasbro, Amazon.com, and Apple are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks that going out on limbs is easier if you lay a mattress down first. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. Rick 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.