Every week, I take a look at a few companies that lapped their profit targets. Leaving Wall Street's pros befuddled 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 look at a few companies that humbled the prognosticators this past week.

We'll start with Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL). It was "show me" time at the Apollo; the company behind vocational educational services, including the Web-based University of Phoenix, earned $0.81 a share before charges and stock-based compensation this past quarter. That exceeded the $0.78 per share it had earned a year earlier on that basis, and handily beat the $0.66 a share target set up by analysts.

The market rewarded Apollo's shares on Friday with a 15% gain, thanks to the company's healthy enrollment growth and market-thumping bottom-line performance.

Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) is another topper. The alcoholic-beverage giant earned an adjusted $0.21 per share this past quarter, well ahead of the $0.15-a-share mark at which the pros had lined up their shot glasses. Stout margins on the company's beer products and a healthy overseas buzz in Europe helped Constellation shoot for the stars.

Let's close this week's file of market-clobbering companies with office furniture maker Steelcase (NYSE:SCS). The company earned $0.23 a share in its latest quarter. That blew past the $0.12 per share it had earned a year ago, as well as the $0.20 a share Steelcase-watchers were expecting.

I always make it a point to keep a close eye on office furniture manufacturers like Steelcase and Herman Miller (NASDAQ:MLHR). When they are doing well -- as they are right now -- it's a great indicator that corporate spending is on the rise. You don't order up a ton of Steelcase's Leap chairs unless you're upbeat about the future.

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 Fool has a disclosure policy.