Victory is relative. The stock of a company that is pegged to lose a ton of money in any given quarter can soar like a rocket if that company simply loses less. It's one of the many ways to skim the market, because model-crunching analysts and shareholders tend to huddle around projected numbers that are baked into a stock's price. If a company laps the mark, it's often a great sign that the company is doing better than everyone thinks. Follow that road, and you will ultimately find some of the biggest market winners.

We'll start with GAMCO Investors (NYSE:GBL). The company became the latest mutual-fund specialist to beat the Street when its quarterly profits rose from $0.43 a share last year to $0.58 a share this time around (excluding a reserve against earnings). Analysts figured that the company managed by investing celebrity Mario Gabelli would only be good for $0.51 a share. This follows market-thumping news a week earlier out of peers T. Rowe Price (NASDAQ:TROW) and Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN).

Can you leave those who watch income statements seeing red, and still hit it out of the park? Warner Music Group (NYSE:WMG) did. The music label behind popular artists like Green Day and Sean Paul lost $0.10 a share during its fiscal third quarter, but it was far less than the $0.19-per-share loss that analysts donning earmuffs were expecting. A year earlier, Warner lost $0.34 before a series of charges.

Warner's turnaround story has been an impressive one. Is the CD dead? Not yet, but Warner has been a major player in the margin-rich potential of digitally delivered tunes. That segment now accounts for 11% of revenues at Warner. Now that the dueling buyout offers between Warner and EMI have come to an end, investors can begin to size up Warner as a legitimate leader in the new musical revolution. Warner doesn't excite you? Did you know that the company has beaten Wall Street bottom-line targets in all five quarters as a public company? That's not too shabby for a sector that way too many investors have all but abandoned.

iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) was another topper. The company behind vacuum-cleaning and floor-scrubbing robots on the consumer-electronics side and bomb detectors on the military front lost $0.08 a share during its seasonally sleepy second quarter. Like Warner, this was the good kind of red ink, because it was an improvement over the $0.30 a share it lost last year and the $0.20 that it was forecasted to lose this quarter. The Rule Breakers recommendation also provided a healthy outlook for the rest of the year.

So keep watching the companies that lap expectations. Over time, it will be a rewarding experience for investors. That's the kind of surprise we look for in the Rule Breakers newsletter service. 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. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.