Don't settle for ordinary quarterly reports.

I take a look at three companies that beat market expectations every week, 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 Zumiez (Nasdaq: ZUMZ). The extreme sports apparel retailer posted a quarterly profit of $0.45 a share, ahead of the $0.42 a share Wall Street was expecting. Unlike lululemon athletica (Nasdaq: LULU) -- the upscale yoga gear specialist that also beat on the bottom line but offered up a holiday outlook that fell on the low end of analyst projections -- Zumiez raised its guidance.

Hillenbrand (NYSE: HI) also held up nicely in last week's earnings report. Then again, given Hillenbrand's funeral products specialty, maybe we should call this an urn-ings report. Adjusted net income climbed 20% to $0.48 a share, obliterating the $0.37 a share that was originally forecasted.

Finally, we have OmniVision (Nasdaq: OVTI) with a mixed showing. Yes, the leading maker of image sensors earned $0.38 a share in its latest quarter. Folks figured that OmniVision would only ring up a profit of $0.32 a share. However, the company's unsettling guidance calling for sharp sequential dips in revenue and profitability was enough to scare away potential buyers.

OmniVision, Lululemon, and even jewelry retailer Tiffany (NYSE: TIF) saw their shares get whacked last week after following up blowout bottom-line results with uninspiring glimpses of the holiday quarter. Strong results and a healthy outlook go hand in hand in truly beating the market.

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 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.

If you want to track these stocks to see if they come out ahead next quarter, add them to My Watchlist:

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.