When a company laps analyst targets, it's more than just a cry for respect. It can be a compelling investing situation in which Wall Street has failed to appreciate a company's true earnings power. If the trend continues, higher share prices are likely to follow.

Let's take a look at a few of these beaters that humbled the prognosticators this past week.

We'll start with DSW (NYSE:DSW). Apparently, there's a little Imelda Marcos in all of us. The superstore retailer of women's shoes earned $0.35 a share in its fiscal second quarter. That was well above the $0.26 a share it had earned a year earlier and the $0.30 a share that the market had been expecting.

Sure, bigger shoes may not be welcome fits in retail, but when net income is coming in bigger, you don't need a shoehorn to appreciate the performance. Surprised by DSW's prowess? You shouldn't be. Three months ago, the company also beat fiscal first-quarter profit-per-share targets by a nickel. DSW is no penny loafer.

Then we have Layne Christensen (NASDAQ:LAYN). There must be something in the water. The provider of water-infrastructure, mineral-exploration, and energy services produced $0.47 in earnings per share for its latest quarter on a 76% surge in revenues. LC was supposed to have earned only $0.38 a share in the second quarter, a subtle improvement over the $0.35 per share it had earned a year ago.

The company's second quarter was its most productive in 2004 and 2005. The company is expecting the same seasonal preference to take place here in 2006. That's OK. If this is as good as it gets for the company this year, it's pretty darn good.

And finally, there's TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO). The only name that matters in digital video recorders posted a narrower loss than Wall Street had been banking on. No one is applauding TiVo's loss of $0.09 a share on $59.4 million in revenues on an absolute basis. But when you stack that up against market expectations of a $0.14-per-share deficit on $51.3 million in revenues, the TiVo story gets better.

It doesn't hurt that TiVo -- a Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter recommendation -- has also been flexing a little patent muscle and striking licensing deals with beefy partners.

So keep watching the companies that lap expectations. Over time, it will be a rewarding experience for investors as the market rewards the overachievers. 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. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.