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 pros over the past few trading days.

We can start with TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO).

The DVR pioneer was expected to post a widening deficit of $0.22 a share. TiVo came through with a huge profit, though it was entirely the handiwork of a massive $78.4 million that came in as part of a $250 million settlement from Verizon (NYSE:VZ). One of the neat things about TiVo is that it's rich in patents that cable and satellite television providers need if they want to offer many of the basic DVR functions.

Backing out the money that Verizon shelled out to get its FiOS broadband television service off the ground -- as investors should -- TiVo posted a loss, but it was much smaller than the $27 million to $29 million deficit that it was originally projecting.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR.DL) is also percolating nicely. Shares of the company behind the Keurig single-cup brewer soared 30% last week after it poured out blowout quarterly results.

Wall Street figured that the java giant would earn just $0.48 a share, just ahead of the $0.47 a share it served up a year earlier.

Nope. Adjusted earnings soared 36% to $0.64 a share.

Finally, we have Workday (NASDAQ:WDAY) not calling in sick for its first quarterly report as a public company. The provider of cloud-based enterprise software solutions has been a big winner since going public at $28 less than two months ago. Workday's quarterly loss of $0.39 a share may not seem all that impressive, but the pros were betting on $0.57 a share in red ink.

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.