A quarterly report is more than just a company's shining moment on stage. It's the fiscal intersection that occurs every three months to match reality with Wall Street's perception of that reality. If a company clocks in comfortably ahead of those targets, adjustments need to be made among the model-munching pros, and investors are well served by taking note of the market thumpers.

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

We'll start with Herman Miller (NASDAQ:MLHR). The office furniture specialist earned $0.43 a share in its latest quarter, well ahead of the $0.39 per share that the market was expecting.

I'll let you in on a little secret. Even if you don't know a whole lot about Herman Miller, it pays to track the company's progress. Herman Miller has been an office staple for ages. Yes, it's the company that invented the dreaded cubicle, but it was also the one that rolled out the Aeron chairs that became the ultimate office accessory during the dot-com bubble. So if you follow where Herman Miller is going, you can usually get a pretty good read on which way corporate spending is going, too. It's usually a good sign when you see Herman Miller coming out on top, as it shows that companies are feeling confident enough to order new furniture to either replace tired wares or to simply expand. If you needed further validation, rival Steelcase (NYSE:SCS) also came through with surprisingly robust results for the same quarter.

Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) was another topper. The enterprise software bellwether posted a 24% improvement in quarterly earnings. The company earned $0.18 a share for the period. That was better than the $0.16 a share showing that analysts had figured the company could muster. Yes, I know what you're thinking. Do we really need anything to stroke colorfully brash CEO Larry Ellison's ego? He's earned it, folks. Even if his brazen style and penchant for dissing competitors publicly isn't everyone's cup of tea, the company is performing well under his watch these days.

Then we have CarMax (NYSE:KMX). The company that revolutionized the once-seedy used car market proved to be no lemon. Wall Street was expecting fiscal second-quarter profits to come in at $0.41 a share, and CarMax drove past them to hit $0.50 a share. CarMax, a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation, has thrived despite the difficulties we're seeing at domestic car manufacturers. In fact, that may be the very reason why CarMax is doing so well, as customers flock to the pricing transparency and wide selection that CarMax offers.

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 Motley Fool 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's 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.