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 ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM). The world's largest company pumped out another record quarter, earning $2.13 a share in the fourth quarter. Analysts were settling for a $1.95-a-share showing. Few companies can even aspire to earn $11.7 billion in a year, much less in a single quarter.

Companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron (NYSE: CVX) are rattling off record results, fueled by higher crude oil prices and the corresponding increase in drivers' pain at the pump.

The home of the Whopper was also a topper. Burger King (NYSE: BKC) saw its fourth-quarter profits climb 29% to $0.36 a share. Wall Street had ordered net income to come in at just $0.32 a share. However, healthy global comps and strong expansion overseas helped the King checkmate the analysts.

Finally, Monster Worldwide (Nasdaq: MNST) scared the pros -- in a good way. The employment listings specialist earned $0.41 a share from continuing operations in its latest quarter, comfortably ahead of the $0.38 a share analysts had expected.

Monster is sitting pretty in an otherwise lackluster sector. HotJobs parent Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) saw its stock dip into the teens before Mr. Softy offered an exit strategy on Friday. Dice.com parent Dice Holdings (NYSE: DHX) is trading for less than last year's IPO price. Bucking the trend will definitely look good on Monster's resume.

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.

Yahoo! is a former recommendation of the Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter. Learn why we picked it, and why we dropped it, with a free 30-day trial subscription.

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.