Don't settle for ordinary quarterly reports.

Every week, I take a look at three companies that beat market expectations, since I believe that it's the biggest factor in a stock beating the market. Leaving Wall Street's pros with stunned expressions can be a good thing. It usually means that the companies have more in the tank than analysts figured. Capital appreciation typically follows.

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

We can start with Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS). Earnings more than tripled to $1.09 a share, as higher card usage and lower delinquency rates helped fuel margin-widening growth. Analysts were only banking on net income of $0.75 a share. Despite the fears of regulatory changes and tightening credit in general, this has been a market-thumping niche. Larger plastic marketers like Visa (NYSE: V) and MasterCard (NYSE: MA) also landed ahead of Wall Street's estimates last month.

AeroVironment (Nasdaq: AVAV) flew past Mr. Market. Investors figured profitability would shrink slightly for the designer of high-tech unmanned aircraft vehicles. AeroVironment took off in the other direction, with net income climbing 11% to $0.79 a share.

Finally, we have Tibco Software (Nasdaq: TIBX) earning $0.21 a share in its latest quarter, after earning $0.15 a share during the same period a year earlier. Analysts figured that the provider of business intelligence solutions would grow its bottom line only half as fast as it ultimately did. Enterprise software bellwether Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) joined Tibco in cranking out better-than-expected results Thursday night.

It's important to keep watching the companies that surpass expectations. Over time, it will be a lucrative experience for investors as the market rewards the overachievers. That's the kind of surprise that we look for in the Motley Fool 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 not own shares in any of the stocks in this articles. He is  part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Oracle. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of AeroVironment, Visa, and Discover Financial Services. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended shorting Tibco Software. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.