A history of earnings surprise is a good sign that a company is managing market expectations and creating shareholder value. One reason for a company like Apple's (AAPL) consistent share appreciation in the past has been its ability to meet and exceed earnings expectations. In this screen we looked at companies that have recently released earnings (in March this year) that beat consensus targets. Furthermore, they have all consistently beat earnings over the last 4 reporting periods and have an average earnings surprise above 5%. The companies in this list are also becoming more profitable with margins above the average in their industry on the basis of trailing twelve month (TTM) gross, operating and pre-tax margins. Companies in this screen: Ability to control costs while growing earnings is a valuable combination when analyzing a company. Do you think any of these profitable names will continue to surprise? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis. Interactive chart: Compare changes in analyst ratings over the past two years: The average 1-year return on stocks in this list is 18%. 1. BankUnited, Inc. ( BKU): Operates as the holding company for BankUnited that provides various banking products and services to consumers, and commercial and middle-market businesses. Market cap at $2.51B, most recent closing price at $24.96. Looking back: In Jun 2012: Reported EPS at 0.48 vs. estimate at 0.44 (surprise of 9.1%). In Sep 2012: Reported EPS at 0.48 vs. estimate at 0.44 (surprise of 9.1%). In Dec 2012: Reported EPS at 0.76 vs. estimate at 0.48 (surprise of 58.3%). In Mar 2013: Reported 0.47 vs. estimate at 0.45 (surprise of 4.4%). [Average earnings surprise at 20.22%]. TTM gross margin at 83.31% vs. industry average at 78.18%. TTM operating margin at 53.86% vs. industry average at 46.6%. TTM pretax margin at 42.21% vs. industry average at 26.2%.