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 LifeLock (NYSE:LOCK)Shares of the identity-theft protection provider moved 11% higher last week after it posted strong quarterly results.

LifeLock's adjusted profit of $0.10 a share was well ahead of the $0.07 a share that analysts were forecasting. The appeal of LifeLock's identity monitoring service is growing. Revenue climbed 49% in the quarter.

LifeLock went public late last year, but it has already posted better-than-expected results in its first two quarterly reports since its October IPO.

SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA) also served up effervescent quarterly results.

The company that turns tap water into carbonated beverages came through with an adjusted profit of $0.45 a share, blowing past the $0.32 a share it posted a year earlier and the $0.39 a share that Wall Street was expecting.

SodaStream's revenue climbed 55%, topping more than a million starter kits for the first time.

Finally, we have Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) showing signs of life. Perhaps the most feverishly debated stock among activist billionaire investors, Herbalife cranked out net income of $1.05 a share and raised its guidance.

Analysts were only expecting a profit of $1.03 a share.

Then again, that probably didn't surprise anyone following the company. Investors have to go all the way back to the end of 2008 to find the last time that Herbalife didn't surpass bottom-line estimates.

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. 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.

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.