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 over the past few trading days.

We can start with Christopher & Banks (NYSE:CBK). The retailer behind the Christopher & Banks, C.J. Banks, and Acorn chains earned $0.29 a share heading into the telltale holiday quarter. The report was better than the $0.24 a share it earned a year ago, as well as the expected profit of $0.28 a share. With women's apparel concepts like Ann Taylor (NYSE:ANN) and Chico's FAS (NYSE:CHS) struggling these days, it's good to see a small player get it right. Christopher & Banks scored an impressive 9% gain in comps for the period.

Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) is another topper. The drugstore operator earned $0.46 a share during its fiscal first quarter. The illegible scribbling of prescribing analysts had pegged the company's net income prognosis at just $0.44 a share.

Walgreen's financials have been lumpy over the years, though the pharmacy chain has now beaten market expectations in three of the past four quarters.

Finally, we have Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) wearing a top hat. The developer of profitable applications for the open-source Linux platform earned $0.19 a share in its latest quarter. That was comfortably ahead of the $0.14 a share it earned last year and the $0.18 a share that the market was looking for. Even with software juggernauts like Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) crashing the party, there is apparently still enough left for Red Hat to keep growing at a respectable clip.

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 free 30-day trial subscription.

Either way, come back next Monday to learn about more stocks that blew the market away.

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Microsoft is an Inside Value recommendation.

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 part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool's disclosure policy looks super-suave in a tuxedo.