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 Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI). The satellite-radio provider delivered its first profitable quarter. Net income rounded out to merely breakeven results, but that's still comfortably ahead of Wall Street's target of a $0.02 a share loss.

salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) was another winner, narrowly basting the pros with its $0.16-per-share quarterly profit to wrap up its fiscal year. The company's fiscal year may have seemed tight and steady on the bottom line -- with per-share profits clocking in between $0.15 and $0.17 in each of the four quarters -- but Wall Street is banking on net income to nearly double this new fiscal year.

salesforce.com delivers cost-effective enterprise software solutions through cloud computing. Storing client data and running the apps on its servers provides portability and attractive price points. It's no wonder that the fastest-growing segment for webhosting giant Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) is hosting third-party apps on its cloud platform.

Finally, we have DreamWorks Animation (NYSE: DWA) coloring in nicely. The computer-animation studio earned $0.50 a share in its latest quarter, blowing away guesstimates of $0.37 a share. With a fresh slate of films that will be available on premium 3-D and IMAX (Nasdaq: IMAX), DreamWorks Animation has done well since taking the baton from Disney's (NYSE: DIS) Pixar to be the largest stand-alone computer animation studio.

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.

Walt Disney is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. salesforce.com, IMAX, and Rackspace Hosting are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. Walt Disney and DreamWorks Animation are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of toppers. He owns shares of Disney 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.