Estimates are never absolute. Companies may try to sway analysts one way or the other, but even with appropriate guidance, some companies just have more earnings power than Wall Street was banking on. Those are the stocks I love to examine closer. There may be something special going on, and it may prove lucrative to investors.

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

We'll start with DSW (NYSE:DSW). The footwear retailer saw its stock soar by 13% after posting quarterly profits of $0.36 a share. That was well ahead of the $0.27 a share that Wall Street was expecting. It's a great time to thump the pros, too, with the important holiday selling season now upon us. The shoe discounter has been a crowd pleaser, coming in ahead of the market's profit targets every single quarter since being spun off by Retail Ventures (NYSE:RVI) last year.

Kellwood (NYSE:KWD) was another topper. The apparel maker earned $0.67 a share during the third quarter before accounting for restructuring costs. Analysts were looking for a flattish showing, with net income clocking in at $0.68 a share after a $0.64 per share result a year earlier. The good news found shares of Kellwood climbing 6% higher on Friday.

Surprised? One shouldn't be. Despite toiling away in the rather unglamorous textiles arena, Kellwood has managed to surpass expectations for seven consecutive quarters now.

Then we have Del Monte Foods (NYSE:DLM). The food giant has been going to the dogs -- and cats -- but that's actually a good thing. Its pet products division helped offset weakness in the company's consumer edibles (go, Milk-Bone, go). Investors were expecting the bottom line to dip to $0.14 a share, but Del Monte wound up earning $0.18 a share (before $0.06 a share in one-time charges), in line with what the company had earned a year earlier.

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 the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Foo l has a disclosure policy.