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 take a look at a few companies that humbled the prognosticators this past week, starting with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). The microprocessor juggernaut awakened investors after posting a 44% pop in earnings growth. The $0.22-per-share showing was well ahead of the $0.19 a share that the market expected.

A price war with rival AMD (NYSE:AMD), layoffs, and a lukewarm PC market didn't slow the company down, apparently. The earnings report also set the stage perfectly for Thursday's Intel-centric installment of Dueling Fools.

TD AMERITRADE (NASDAQ:AMTD) was another topper. The discount broker earned $0.26 a share in its latest quarter, edging out the market's target of $0.25 a stub. Higher fee revenue on the money market side helped offset a dip in trading activity. No, the report didn't completely blow away the cynics, but it sets the stage for an interesting report later this week from rival E*Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC).

Lastly, we have eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY). Despite a lull in auction listings, the rest of eBay's portfolio came through for the dot-com bellwether. Adjusted profitability soared 34% to hit $0.34 per share, $0.02 better than where the pros had staked their claim.

The company's near-term outlook, particularly the challenges involved in getting its eBay businesses in the United States and Germany back on track, may be iffy. But you can now own a piece of one of the more dynamic companies in cyberspace at just 24 to 25 times this year's bottom-line guidance.

So keep watching the companies that lap expectations. Over time, it'll be a fruitful 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.

eBay is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter selection. Intel is an Inside Value recommendation. Either newsletter can be yours 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.