Why settle for ordinary quarterly reports?

I take a look at three companies that beat market expectations every week, since I believe that it's the biggest factor in a stock beating the market. 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 AeroVironment (NASDAQ:AVAV). The maker of unmanned aircraft -- yes, the cool stuff the military use for recon missions -- posted a fiscal first quarter profit of $0.22 a share. Wall Street was only looking for net income to clock in at $0.18 a share for the period, in line with what it earned a year ago.

With the order backlog growing quickly, AeroVironment is positioned to keep the welcome surprises coming. Defense spending can be fickle, of course, but tech-fueled companies like AeroVironment and PackBot maker iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) offer casualty-sparing automatons that should grow in popularity regardless of the climate.

lululemon athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) is another topper. The fitness apparel retailer saw quarterly earnings from continuing operations more than double to $0.18 a share. Analysts had a more modest profit target of $0.13 a share.

Yes, there are winners even in retail. The malls may not be so crowded these days, but even a high-end yoga specialist like lululemon can still draw record crowds, going by its healthy 13% surge in comps on a constant-dollar basis.

Finally, we have Korn/Ferry International (NYSE:KFY) punching in. The executive headhunter generated income of $0.36 a share in its latest quarter, flat with last year's showing, but comfortably ahead of the $0.30 a share that the market was braced for. Companies that provide human resource services -- from outsourcing giants like Manpower (NYSE:MAN) and Robert Half (NYSE:RHI) to workforce recruiters like Monster Worldwide (NASDAQ:MNST) -- should hold up better than the iffy economy as employee turnover picks up.

So, keep watching the companies that top 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.

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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.