Don't 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 Take-Two Interactive (Nasdaq: TTWO). The video-game publisher scored an adjusted profit of $0.34 a share in its fiscal second quarter. Wall Street was banking on a $0.26 showing.

That's impressive for a company that typically flounders outside of its Grand Theft Auto installments. However, the recent success of BioShock 2 and Red Dead Redemption are proving that Take-Two isn't a one-trick pony. The company may have blundered in passing on Electronic Arts' (Nasdaq: ERTS) $26-per-share buyout offer in 2008, but after two years of kicking itself, it's finally using those same feet to move in the right direction.

Dollar General (NYSE: DG) also was no buck private. (See what I did there?) The thrift-store chain earned $0.42 a share in its latest quarter, well ahead of the market's $0.34 target.

Deep discounters are still in vogue as we claw our way out of the economic doldrums. Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO), Big Lots, and Dollar Tree also beat bottom-line estimates in their latest quarters.

Finally, we have lululemon athletica (Nasdaq: LULU) tripling its net income to $0.27 a share. The pros had penciled in a profit of $0.21 for the fast-growing retailer of high-end performance apparel. Then again, when comps soar by 35%, it's hard not to make analysts look silly.   

It's important to 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. And come back next Monday to learn about more stocks that blew the market away.

Take-Two Interactive is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Electronic Arts 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 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.