Zynga Inc (ZNGA), Cytokinetics, Inc. (CYTK), and More: 3 Stocks That Blew the Market Away

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.

Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)We can start with Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)Shares of the leading social gaming player soared 29% last week, surprising investors with an adjusted profit when the market was banking on a small deficit.

Things aren’t perfect at Zynga. Revenue and bookings posted year-over-year declines. Daily active users, monthly active users, and unique visitors all dipped sequentially. However, the business of largely ad-supported casual games isn’t dying as quickly as many worrywarts have feared. Rival Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ:GLUU), which also reported on Tuesday — came through with a narrower non-GAAP loss than the market was forecasting.

Outside of last week’s rich rally, Zynga hasn’t panned out as well as its partner Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). The top social networking website also delivered better-than-expected results a week earlier, but Facebook’s actually growing nicely on the top line, too. Zynga will need to reverse the problematic bookings and audience trends to truly regain investor confidence. For a week at least, Zynga lived up to the hype that swelled just ahead of its late 2011 IPO.

LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:LF) also leaped over analyst targets. The leading maker of electronic learning toys scored a profit of $0.60 a share during the telltale holiday quarter. Wall Street was settling for $0.49 a share. It was easy to see a strong report coming, as a few of LeapFrog’s educational toys were among the season’s hottest sellers.

Finally, we have Cytokinetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CYTK) chiming in with a substantially smaller shortfall than the market was modeling. The small biotech — whose lead drug candidate is a cardiac muscle contractility program that’s in phase 2 clinical development for the potential treatment of heart failure — posted a quarterly loss of $0.07 a share in its latest quarter. Analysts were targeting a deficit of $0.11 a share after a year-ago loss of $0.16 a share.

Cytokinetics still has a long way to go before it’s profitable or before its lead candidate has a shot of hitting the market, but controlling cash burn is an important aspect of being a biotech start-up.

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

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Aristotle Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook and LeapFrog Enterprises. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook and LeapFrog Enterprises.

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