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 IHS (NYSE: IHS). The global source of information and analytics was supposed to check in on Tuesday with a quarterly profit of $1.11 a share, just ahead of the $0.99 a share it posted a year earlier. IHS shares moved higher after the info publisher came through with net income of $1.21 a share on a similarly better-than-expected 12% top-line pop.
Monsanto (NYSE: MON) shares hit triple digits for the first time in more than four years, and it's easy to see why. The controversial agricultural chemicals giant stunned investors with a profit of $0.64 a share, nearly double the $0.37 a share that the pros were forecasting. Improvements in Latin America and strong corn seed sales let to the a-maize-ing results.
Investors were right to expect good things out of Monsanto. A week earlier, Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) -- a major producer of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients -- also blew the market away. If fertilizer sales are strong, it follows that other agricultural products are on the rise.
Finally, we have Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) charging higher. The provider of electronic transaction processing solutions rang up cash earnings of $0.93 a share for its fiscal third quarter, well ahead of the $0.87 a share that analysts were targeting. Global Payments is juicing up its bottom-line guidance for all of fiscal 2013 on the healthy report.
Moving in the right direction
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.