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 Chipotle (NYSE:CMG). The fast-growing chain of quick-service Mexican eats kicked off 2007 with stellar first-quarter results. The company earned $0.38 a share, considerably more than the market's $0.32 expectations.

You've got to hand it to Chipotle. Since going public 15 months ago, the company has hit it out of the park in each and every single quarter. The chain has beaten consensus bottom-line projections by at least $0.05 per share every time.

Xinhua Finance Media (NASDAQ:XFML) was another topper. The pros figured that the company would post a loss of $0.03 per share in its first quarter as a public company. The company surprised market watchers by recording a small profit before a favorable gain. The trouncing may not seem as impressive as what China's Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU) achieved a week earlier, but it's a healthy indicator of the region's improving economy.

Then we have Bankrate (NASDAQ:RATE) drawing interest. The publisher of rates for financial service providers earned $0.33 a share before stock-based compensation. Investors were expecting a profit of only $0.28 per share on that basis. Even the crumbling subprime market and the soft real estate sector didn't hold back the company, with lending institutions advertising on Bankrate to stand out in a more desperate crowd.

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, Baidu.com, and Bankrate are all picks in the Rule Breakers growth stock research service. Chipotle is also a Hidden Gems recommendation. Check into either newsletter for the next 30 days with a free trial subscription offer.

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.