Quarterly reports give a company a chance to make a statement. Sure, most will somehow gravitate toward analyst targets, while an unfortunate batch of others will sadly miss their marks.

Forget about those two groups for a moment. I'm interested in the companies that come in comfortably above Wall Street's forecasts. There is usually something pretty good going on there when a company is doing better than expected.

That said, let's take a closer look at a few of the companies that humbled the prognosticators this past week.

We'll start with Under Armour (NASDAQ:UARM). The sportswear maker earned $0.18 a share when analysts were expecting a bottom line showing of only $0.07. Our own Rich Smith did walk away from the report with concerns over the company's cash flow and soaring accounts receivable, but in terms of reported profitability, it was a spectacular showing.

If you tuned in to the NFL draft over the weekend, you may have seen a spot or two from Under Armour. The athletic apparel and footwear maker is hoping that its connection with many pro athletes will translate into hobbyist sales. So far, so good.

Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) was another topper. The dominant player in speeding up online content delivery earned $0.17 a share before a $0.10 stock-based compensation hit. That was a penny better than Wall Street was banking on. Things have gone brilliantly for Akamai. The shares have soared 170% higher since Tim Beyers recommended Akamai to Rule Breakers newsletter subscribers last year. Tim expects the good times to continue after its healthy March quarter report found revenue and normalized earnings clocking in 51% and 70% higher, respectively.

Then we have IHOP (NYSE:IHP). When you think of toppings at the International House of Pancakes chain, you may be thinking more along the lines of strawberries or baked apples. But the company certainly found a way to top last week's quarterly report, earning $0.68 a share. That's well above the expected $0.54 per share, as a series of favorable factors, including a 5.1% uptick in same-store sales and an aggressive share-buyback program, helped propel earnings per share higher.

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: The average Rule Breakers selection has trounced the S&P 500's market return. Want in? Try 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. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Foo l has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.