CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL), SandRidge Energy Inc. (SD) & More: Watch This Trio

Don’t settle for ordinary quarterly reports.

Every week, I take a look at three companies that beat market expectations, 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 pros over the past few trading days.

We can start with Molycorp Inc (NYSE:MCP)Shares of the rare-earth minerals miner soared 27% last week after the company posted a substantially smaller deficit than analysts were expecting.

Yes, Molycorp is still losing a considerable amount of money, but the adjusted loss of $0.15 a share was half as much as Wall Street was projecting. Molycorp Inc (NYSE:MCP) also surprised analysts with a better-than-expected 9% sequential uptick in revenue.

SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD) was also fueled by better-than-forecast results on the bottom line. The oil and gas explorer broke even on an adjusted basis. Sure, SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD) had been profitable in each of the six previous quarters, but analysts were bracing for a loss of $0.06 a share this time around.

Finally, we have CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) coming through with encouraging bottom-line results. Its adjusted profit of $0.76 a share was ahead of the $0.68 a share it posted a year earlier. The pros were targeting flat earnings growth.

It was a busy week for regional telcos as CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) joined Windstream Corporation (NASDAQ:WIN) and Frontier Communications Corp (NASDAQ:FTR) in reporting financials. All three companies posted slightly lower revenue as rural landline customers continue to disconnect. Windstream Corporation (NASDAQ:WIN) and Frontier also missed on the bottom line. However, after CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) slashed its dividend earlier this year and Frontier Communications Corp (NASDAQ:FTR) cut its rate last year, there were no payout whacks this time around. None of the three stocks lost ground on the week, and that’s good news.

The article 3 Stocks That Blew the Market Away originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Rick Munarriz.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.