Every week, I take a look at a few companies that lapped their profit targets. Leaving Wall Street's pros with quizzical looks on their faces can be a good thing. It usually means that the companies have more in the tank than analysts figured, and capital appreciation often follows.

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

We'll start with Steelcase (NYSE:SCS). The office-furniture manufacturer earned $0.25 a share when analysts were expecting the company to produce a profit of only $0.21 a share.

The stellar report joins a similar healthy showing earlier this month out of rival Herman Miller (NASDAQ:MLHR). The company simply matched Wall Street's forecast, but it delighted investors with a healthy 22% spike in new orders. Yes, it's a great sign that companies are spending on upgrading their office furnishings or springing for expansion.

Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) was another topper. The enterprise software specialist earned $0.14 a share, $0.02 better than where the market was perched. The company may have been trounced recently on news that Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) is entering the market of Linux support at discounted prices, but at least the company won't go down without a fight.

Then we have Palm (NASDAQ:PALM). Even though the company that helped pioneer the PDA movement often seems as though it's playing second fiddle to Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry products, Palm's got a hit with the Treo smartphone, and it's showing up on the bottom line. In its fiscal second quarter, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation was only projected to earn $0.15 a share, but it wound up earning $0.17 a share instead.

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.

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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.