Don't settle for ordinary quarterly reports.

I take a look at three companies that beat market expectations every week, since I believe that it'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 Intel (Nasdaq: INTC). The microprocessor giant's adjusted profit inched just 7% higher to $0.59 a share, but analysts were actually banking on Intel earning less than the $0.55 a share it cranked out a year earlier.

In other words, it was a relative victory for Intel but not an absolute one. On a sequential basis, PC chip sales were flat. The Atom chips that were at one time hailed as Intel's growth catalyst for power-sensitive netbooks also clocked in flat. Server chips saved the day. We'll get a clearer snapshot when archrival Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) reports on Thursday.

Apollo Group (Nasdaq: APOL) also schooled the naysayers. The post-secondary educator earned $1.63 a share in its fiscal first quarter. Wall Street also figured that the University of Phoenix parent would clock in with a lower profit than the $1.47 a share that it delivered a year ago. Apollo's report came a day after shares of Strayer Education (Nasdaq: STRA) took a hit on weak enrollment news. Apollo is also being challenged to bring in new students, but at least it's holding up nicely on the earnings front.

Finally, we have Shuffle Master (Nasdaq: SHFL) dealing a good hand. The maker of automatic card shufflers and other casino essentials hit on 16 -- $0.16 a share in profit before one-time charges, that is. Analysts were betting on just $0.13 a share in net income.

It's important to keep watching the companies that surpass expectations. Over time, it will be a lucrative experience for investors as the market rewards the overachievers. That's the kind of surprise that 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.

Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on Intel, which is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. The Fool owns shares of and has bought calls on Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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.