Wall Street analysts hate being wrong. After all, they're getting paid plenty to nail a company's earnings power. That's why it's a thing of beauty to see a stock blow past the smart money's profit targets.
For individual investors, it's more than a moral victory. It's hand-dipped in opportunity. After all, if data-munching MBAs are underestimating a company's earnings potential, isn't the upside even higher?
So let's take a closer look at a few of the companies that humbled the prognosticators this past week.
It's good to be in the red
We'll start with Heinz
Heinz insists that it's not a growth-stock story. Sales over the next few years should grow in the range of 3% to 4%. However, net margins are expected to improve, with earnings growth clocking in at a higher range of 6% to 8%. That's why, even if last week's upside surprise came with a few non-organic asterisks, Heinz is still a quality stock for the long haul.
No bubble-popping here
Is the housing boom over? While we tire of writing that the real estate bubble has met its pin, it seems as if the industry still has a little more in the helium tank. Toll Brothers
Another "best in show" winner was PetSmart
So keep watching the companies that lap expectations. Over time, it will be a rewarding experience for investors. That's the kind of surprise that market watchers relish in the Rule Breakers newsletter service. The strategy has paid off as the average Rule Breaker selection has more than tripled the S&P 500's return. 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, but he does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.