Every week, I take a look at a few companies that lapped their profit targets. Leaving Wall Street's pros with quizzical expressions usually means that the companies have more in the tank than analysts figured, and capital appreciation often follows.

Let's take a look at a few companies that humbled the prognosticators this past week.

We can start with Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS). The company behind the Discover credit card earned $0.42 a share in its latest quarter, well ahead of the $0.39 per share that the market was expecting.

Did Wall Street think credit card companies would take a big hit from iffy borrowers, the way the subprime-mortgage industry did? That may very well happen eventually, but for now, Discover is keeping its net charge-offs and delinquencies in line with where they stood a year ago.

Focus Media (NASDAQ:FMCN) is another topper. China's leader in display advertising saw earnings double to $0.38 a share before acquisition-related and stock-based compensation items. The pros figured that the company would earn $0.35 per share on that adjusted basis.

It's not a surprise to see consumer-driven companies doing so well in China. The economy is percolating, and the financial state of its citizenry is improving. It's not just Focus Media and its network of outdoor electronic displays, television monitors, and other ad platforms that are on a roll. Just dig into how well things are going at companies such as wireless provider China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) or insurance giant China Life (NYSE:LFC).

Finally, we have Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY). The housewares superstore chain earned $0.55 a share in its fiscal second quarter. Nervous retail worrywarts were expecting the company to turn a profit of only $0.52 a share. Bed Bath & Beyond may not be perfect, but it is growing its comps as it carefully continues to expand its concept.

So keep watching the companies that lap expectations. Over time, it 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.

Either way, come back next Monday to learn about more stocks that blew the market away.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.