Don't settle for ordinary quarterly reports.

Each week, I spotlight 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 stunned expressions can be a good thing. It usually means that the companies have more in the tank than analysts figured. Capital appreciation typically follows.

Let's take a look at a few companies that humbled the prognosticators over the past few trading days.

We can start with Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ). The distiller behind Mondavi wines and SVEDKA vodka posted an adjusted profit of $0.27 a share, ahead of both the $0.21 a share it delivered a year ago, and the $0.24 a share that Mr. Market was targeting. Investors who feared competitive pricing would eat into Constellation's bottom line aren't entirely relieved, though. The company did post an uninspiring forecast for the new fiscal year.

Bed Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq: BBBY) also cleaned up nicely, powered by a sharp 11.5% spike in comparable-store sales for the quarter. The home-furnishings superstore earned $0.86 a share in its latest quarter, blowing past Wall Street's expectations of $0.73 a share.

The housing market's turnaround isn't exactly here, but several companies that make a living out of populating existing homes with new decor or upgrades are doing well. Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR) has been one of the market's best-performing stocks over the past year, while Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL) has topped estimates in each of the past six quarters.

Finally, Ruby Tuesday (NYSE: RT) served up bigger portions than the pros had banked on. The casual-dining restaurateur surpassed analysts' targeted net income of $0.23 a share for the latest quarter. Instead, Ruby Tuesday earned $0.28 a share.

Are restaurants storming back into favor? It certainly seems that way. California Pizza Kitchen (Nasdaq: CPKI) soared on Friday, following reports that the pizza, pasta, and salad chain was considering a sale of the company. CKE Restaurants (NYSE: CKR) had a strong week, after a second bidder stepped up to the plate to buy the burger chain.

It's important to keep watching the companies that surpass expectations. Over time, it will be a profitable 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.

Lumber Liquidators is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Bed Bath & Beyond is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of toppers. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this column. 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.