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 SMART Modular (Nasdaq: SMOD). The maker of memory modules and solid state storage products delivered an adjusted profit of $0.08 a share, well shy of the adjusted $0.23 a share it posted a year earlier but just ahead of the $0.07 a share that Wall Street was targeting. The stock's had a good run this year, as investors sense that DRAM price erosion is nearing an end.

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is really coming into its own with its subscription-based open-source platform. The fast-growing enterprise software posted $0.26 a share in adjusted earnings, comfortably above the $0.22 a share that analysts were expecting. It was generally a good week for software as Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), Saba (Nasdaq: SABA), and Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) also clocked in just ahead of the pros.

Finally, we have credit card giant Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) charging past Mr. Market. Discover's quarterly profit of $0.84 a share smoked past analysts perched at the $0.60 a share mark. There was $24 billion charged on Discover plastic during the quarter, 7% ahead of what was swiped a year earlier. Despite the uptick in consumerism, Discover's credit quality has improved nicely with the net charge-off rate continuing to decline.

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 forĀ 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.