Week's Winners and Losers: Tesla Skids, Amazon Wins

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Christophe Ena/APWoody Allen as creating his first TV series. He will write and direct all of the episodes.
There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with the coolest maker of electric cars warning that profitability is several years away and the leading online retailer making waves with its digital video platform.

Target (TGT) -- Winner

Cheap chic never took off north of the border, and now Target is shutting down its Canadian operations. The discount department store chain announced that it will close its 133 stores in Canada.

That may not seem like much of a winning move, but Target's struggling Canadian operations were eating into its financial performance. It was a mistake to jump so aggressively into a market and quickly build out more than 100 stores for a brand that doesn't have the same allure up there as it does in the U.S. However, with profitability forecasts in Canada stretching all the way out to 2021, it made sense to pull out now.

Target was able to make up for the bad news by announcing strong results closer to home over the holidays. It now sees domestic comps and adjusted earnings clocking in higher than it was originally forecasting.

Tesla Motors (TSLA) -- Loser

The 2015 Detroit Auto Show gave automakers a great opportunity to shine, but Tesla Motors and its stock went the other way. Shares of the electric-car maker closed below $200 on back-to-back days for the first time since May after offering up a pair of problematic nuggets.

The first bombshell is that sales are slipping sequentially in China. This is a big deal because investors figured that Tesla would be a no-brainer in the world's most populous nation given the high smog levels in its largest cities.

The second bombshell is that Tesla doesn't expect to turn an annual profit until 2020. That's a long time to wait for a stock that already carries a pretty lofty sales-based valuation.

Amazon.com (AMZN) -- Winner

The leading online retailer began the week by winning both of the Golden Globe awards that it was nominated for, and then beefed up the prospects for its online programming by announcing a deal for a new Amazon exclusive series by Woody Allen.

The deal with Allen was probably already being finalized before Amazon's platform was validated as a result of the industry awards. However, both developments will make it easier for Amazon to land future original content deals.

Google Glass -- Loser

It's probably not a surprise that Google's (GOOG) (GOOGL) high-tech specs didn't take off, and on Thursday, The Associated Press reported that the dot-com giant was ending production of the Web-backed eyewear.

The report claims that sales to developers have been halted, and that the long-anticipated consumer rollout won't happen. Google may have been ahead of its time, and it's a rare miss for Big G.

Xbox -- Winner

The PS4 has been smoking Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox One since the two systems hit the market 14 months ago, but it seems as if a price cut was all that Microsoft needed to gain some serious traction.

Industry tracker NPD Group is reporting that the Xbox One outsold Sony's (SNE) PS4 in the U.S. during the seasonally potent months of November and December. Sony may have retained the crown in worldwide sales, but it seems as if a promotional price cut to $350 was just the ticket to breathe new life into Microsoft's machine.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Google (A and C shares) and Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Google (A and C shares), Microsoft and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Looking for a winner for your portfolio? Check out The Motley Fool's one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.
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