Every week, I spotlight 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 Take-Two Interactive (Nasdaq: TTWO). The video game company behind hit franchises like Grand Theft Auto and BioShock posted a quarterly loss of $0.42 a share before stock-based compensation and reorganization expenses. Wall Street had been anticipating a loss of $0.51 a share from the recently buoyant Rule Breakers recommendation.

Pair up the better-than-expected quarter with healthy pre-orders for next month's Grand Theft Auto IV, and Take-Two is naturally raising its guidance for the year. That will no doubt come as frustrating news to Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), which has been publicly rebuffed after a pair of buyout offers, with plans to take its bid hostile.

ZipRealty (Nasdaq: ZIPR) is another topper. The real estate market may be dreadful, but it could be worse. ZipRealty posted a pro forma loss of $0.22 a share on Thursday, slightly better than the $0.26-a-share deficit that analysts were looking for.

Sure, it was far worse than the $0.07-a-share loss it posted a year earlier. Some would argue that the real estate broker with an online bent is a relative winner. Its agents closed on more homes during the quarter, but an 8% dip on the top line resulted from those homes selling at lower prices than they did a year ago.

Finally, we have J. Crew (NYSE: JCG) letting us know that retail isn't dead. The apparel chain saw its adjusted profits climb 24% to $0.41 a share, just ahead of Wall Street's $0.39-a-share earnings target.

J. Crew had yet another solid period, posting a 4% gain in comps. But it isn't alone in retail. Other chains like Men's Wearhouse (NYSE: MW), The Buckle (NYSE: BKE), and even the beleaguered Hot Topic (Nasdaq: HOTT) have bested the pros on the bottom line in recent days.

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 for free.

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

Electronic Arts is a recommendation of the Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter. Take-Two is a Rule Breakers pick.  

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 has a disclosure policy.