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 Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL). The country's most valuable tech company earned its price tag with another blowout quarter. Fiscal first-quarter profits climbed 75% to $6.43 a share, well ahead of the $5.38 a share that Wall Street was expecting. Apple routinely leaves its analysts in a cloud of dust, and Steve Jobs going on another medical leave of absence is unlikely to change that.

It was generally a good week for tech bellwethers with IBM (NYSE: IBM) and forgotten hard-drive maker Western Digital (NYSE: WDC) clocking in with market-thumping profitability.

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) also landed ahead of the pros, posting non-GAAP earnings of $0.14 a share in its latest quarter. Investors were braced for a profit of $0.11 a share. Sure, AMD earned a lot more a year earlier, but AMD and rival Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) are adjusting to a climate with sluggish demand for PC chips as smartphones and tablets make computing even more portable. Given the backdrop, it's encouraging to see both Intel and AMD beat net income targets this month. It's also refreshing to see AMD post its fifth consecutive profit after slipping during the global recession.

Finally, we have Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG) winning this round of fiscal arm wrestling. Shares of the company behind the da Vinci surgical robotic arm that is revolutionizing the operating room popped 13% higher on Friday after its breakout quarter.

Intuitive Surgical's earnings soared 55% to $3.02 a share for the quarter. Mr. Market figured that the days of heady growth were over, projecting a mere 15% bottom-line advance.

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.

Intuitive Surgical is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. The Fool has written puts on Apple, which is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Fool owns shares of and has bought calls on Intel, which is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on Intel. The Fool owns shares of Apple, IBM, and Western Digital. 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.