Every week, I take a look at three companies that beat market expectations, since I believe that'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 Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). The leading search engine's third-quarter profit rose 26% to $4.24 a share, or $4.92 a share on a non-GAAP basis. It is on that latter basis that analysts were expecting income of only $4.76 a share.

If Google besting the pros feels like a common occurrence, you haven't kept abreast of recent history. Before Thursday's win, Google had missed its bottom-line targets in two of the past three -- and three of the last five -- quarters.

You should also hand it to Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), even if the company can hand it right back to you with its surgical robotic arms. The company that is breathing new efficiency into the operating room earned $1.44 a share in its latest quarter. Mr. Market was strapping on the surgical scrubs a few doors down with guesstimates of $1.27 a share in profitability.

Like Google, Intuitive is a popular Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Unlike Google, Intuitive investors are used to the quarterly victory laps. You have to go all the way back to the third quarter of 2002 to find the last time that the company didn't obliterate expectations. It may have been a good week for drug stocks -- with both Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) checking in with healthy numbers -- but medical technology is the better play for growth investors. Despite its amazing streak, Intuitive Surgical's stock has been marked down to just 26 times next year's earnings estimate.

Finally, we can bank on Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). If finding a clean, profitable bank is an eye-opener, how about a giant that is also topping guesstimates. Wells Fargo put up a profit of $0.49 a share, short of the $0.64 it scored a year ago, but comfortably ahead of the $0.41 a share that investors were braced for.

Keep watching the companies that beat 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 all our analyst team has to offer with a 30-day free trial subscription.

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

Johnson & Johnson is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. Intuitive Surgical and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

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 believes in ghosts.