Why settle for ordinary quarterly reports?

Every week, I take a look at three companies that beat market expectations, 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 Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY). The home-goods retailer posted a quarterly profit of $0.55 a share. It may be less than the $0.66 that the chain reported a year ago, but it's comfortably ahead of the $0.44 a share that analysts were expecting.

It probably doesn't seem like a great time to be moving curtain rods and throw pillows. Linens 'n Things went out of business; Pier 1 (NYSE:PIR) is closing stores. However, this environment of shrinking rivals is helping survivors like Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM).

Immucor (NASDAQ:BLUD) is another topper. The blood transfusion specialist earned $0.27 a share in its latest quarter. Wall Street was looking for $0.22 a share on the bottom line. Demand remains steady with the company's reagent products, welcome news since they account for 90% of Immucor's revenue.

Finally, we have Apogee Enterprises (NASDAQ:APOG) surpassing the pros. The industrial window and glass installer generated net income of $0.40 a share in its fiscal fourth quarter. Shareholders were looking through a dirtier window, braced for a profit of just $0.31 a share.

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 Motley Fool 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.

Bed Bath & Beyond is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation and a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. 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 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.