Why settle for ordinary quarterly reports?

I believe that the biggest factor in a stock's ability to beat the market is its ability to beat the market's expectations. That's why I look every week at three companies that have humbled Wall Street's pros over the past few trading days. If a company has more in the tank than the analysts figured, capital appreciation often follows.

We can start with Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM). The BlackBerry maker saw its quarterly profits soar by 59% to $1.10 a share, as the company added 4.4 million net new subscribers and shipped a record 10 million BlackBerry devices. Analysts were banking on a profit of only $1.04 a share. The report came on the same day in which smaller smartphone rival Palm (NASDAQ:PALM) missed the market's bottom-line target.

Investors also dug Joy Global (NASDAQ:JOYG). The mining specialist posted net income of $1.20 a share in its fiscal fourth quarter, ahead of both the $1.11 it earned a year ago and the $1.01 Wall Street was expecting.

Finally, we have Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) rocking on the retail front. The consumer-electronics chain earned $0.53 a share for its fiscal third quarter. The pros were perched at the $0.43 mark.

Best Buy spooked investors by pointing out how the holiday quarter was checking in with lower gross margins, but it still operates in a compelling retailing niche. Now that Circuit City is gone, Best Buy, Conn's (NASDAQ:CONN), and even RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) stand to gain some market share over the holidays.

Keep watching the companies that surpass expectations. Over time, doing so 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.

The Fool owns shares of Best Buy, which is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection and a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of toppers. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this column and 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.