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

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

We'll start with Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS). The company behind the Discover cash-rewards credit card posted a second-quarter profit of $0.42 a share from continuing operations. That's less than the $0.52 it earned a year earlier from continuing operations, but Wall Street was braced for a mere $0.37-per-share profit.

Discover rarely gets the kind of love that Visa (NYSE:V) and MasterCard (NYSE:MA) do. Its stock has shed more than half of its value since peaking last year, while Visa and MasterCard are trading within tickling distance of their highs. There may be reasons for the Discover discount, but keep in mind that Discover has blown by analyst profit targets in each of the past four quarters.

Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) is another topper. The home-goods retailer posted a quarterly profit of $0.30 a share, ahead of the $0.27 per share in net income that Mr. Market was expecting. Even if the bottom-line results lagged last year's showing, it's comforting to see the chain post higher net sales and comps. Even if we aren't buying homes the way we used to, at least we're still sprucing them up with soft goods.

Finally, we have Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) coming out on top. The database-software giant saw its quarterly earnings climb 27% higher to $0.47 a share, well above Wall Street's $0.44 guesstimate. Oracle is a bellwether, so its healthy performance is an encouraging sign that companies are still spending on enterprise software. Of course, investors should stack Oracle against rivals such as SAP (NYSE:SAP) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) before arriving at their ultimate conclusion.

So keep watching the companies that exceed expectations. Over time, doing so will be a rewarding experience for investors, since 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.