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 companies that humbled the prognosticators this past week.

We'll start with Lowe's (NYSE:LOW). Earnings for the home-improvement retailer fell from $0.44 a share to $0.40 per share for its fiscal fourth quarter. But that's still a topper, because Wall Street was ready to settle for $0.37 a share.

Holding up better than its orange apron-wearing rivals at Home Depot (NYSE:HD) is a good thing for Lowe's. Suffering a 5% slide in comps obviously is not. However, Lowe's should still do a lot better than the depressed homebuilders. A glut of available homes may stifle sales, but that shouldn't keep homeowners from deciding to spruce up their own digs.

WebMD (NASDAQ:WBMD) was another topper. The online health-care resource site posted earnings of $0.15 a share, comfortably ahead of the $0.11 per share the market had been expecting. The prognosis is looking pretty favorable for the company, between its high-octane growth and recent insider buying. The stock has been on a tear, up roughly 50% over the past year. Despite the lofty valuation, the good times may continue, since the company also upped its outlook for 2007.

Then we have Jack in the Box (NYSE:JBX) popping up with a welcome surprise. Earnings per share soared 47% to hit $1.03 at the fast-food chain in its fiscal first quarter. Analysts were somehow only expecting bottom-line production of $0.82 a share.

Clearly, the company is doing something right at its namesake chain. Jack in the Box also has a winner with Qdoba. It may not be as good a play in quick-service Mexican eats as Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG), but it, too, is growing quickly.

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.

Chipotle is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Home Depot is an Inside Value selection.

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 Fool has a disclosure policy.