There's nothing quite like Thanksgiving to remind me to always be grateful for companies that trounce analyst profit targets. These are usually pretty special companies, until Wall Street figures out how to truly gauge their earnings-producing power.

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

We'll start with Lowe's (NYSE:LOW). The second-largest home-improvement retailer -- after Motley Fool Inside Value pick Home Depot (NYSE:HD) -- posted earnings of $0.46 a share for its fiscal third-quarter report. The market was looking for Lowe's to grow its bottom line at half that rate, going from $0.40 a share to $0.43 a share for the period.

Lowe's got there despite logging a 4% decline in same-store sales and a historically anemic 6% spurt in sales. However, an ambitious share buyback and improving margins helped grow things nicely for the retailer. It's holding up pretty well, considering the sluggish real estate market into which it feeds.

Soupy sales also drove Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) higher. The foodstuffs behemoth posted pro forma profitability of $0.66 a share. On that basis, the pros were looking for Campbell to grow from $0.58 a share to $0.61 a share for the period.

Then we have Dell Computer (NASDAQ:DELL). After hosing down its outlook earlier this year, the somewhat struggling PC maker got Wall Street back where it wants it -- namely, underestimating Dell. The computer maker, which has been recommended in both the Motley Fool Stock Advisorand Inside Value newsletters, saw quarterly earnings per share fall from $0.39 to $0.30, but that was comfortably ahead of the $0.24 on which analysts were banking.

We can't be naive. Profits still fell from the period. However, between the improving corporate economy and the rollout of Windows Vista, it's easy to get excited about Dell's prospects as a turnaround play at this point.

Keep watching the companies that lap expectations. Over time, as the market rewards the overachievers, it should prove 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. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Foo l has a disclosure policy.