Week's Winners, Losers: Carnival Adds Ships, Winnebago Slips

Two cruise ships docked at a Caribbean port.    Saint Johns, Antigua.Image #:   71112043License type:   Royalty-freePhotog
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There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with the world's largest cruise line operator ordering new ships and the leading taco maker killing off a defining breakfast item.

Carnival (CCL) -- Winner

The world's largest cruise line operator is about to get bigger: Carnival has placed an order for nine cruise ships that will start to be delivered in 2019.

It's important for Carnival to continue to enhance its fleet across several cruise line brands. It may have scored record revenue in its most recent fiscal year, but profitability peaked four years earlier. Carnival's namesake line needs to keep up with its better-reviewed rivals if it wants to charge as much as the competition. New ships help.

Waffle Taco -- Loser

The Waffle Taco is toast. It's been a year since Yum! Brands' (YUM) Taco Bell threw its sombrero into the breakfast ring, but the signature menu item that many associated with the chain's play for morning commuters won't be around for a sophomore year.

Yum! Brands nixed the Waffle Taco, replacing it with the Biscuit Taco and a new boneless chicken that's breaded in tortilla chips. The additions are certainly welcome, and the early reviews are favorable. However, Taco Bell didn't have to kill off its taco-shaped waffle sandwich. It drew attention, and that's something that can't be said now with many burger chains offering biscuit sandwiches for breakfast. It didn't have to kill one product just to add another, and it finds Taco Bell now scrambling to make the A.M. Crunchwrap its signature offering

Netflix (NFLX) -- Winner

Analysts are warming up to the market darling in digital streaming. Cantor and Barclays boosted their price targets on Netflix by $50 apiece, with Cantor pushing its goal to $500 and Barclays now perched at $400.

It's been a good week for Netflix, as the premium streaming video service that's expected to have more than 60 million global subscribers by month's end also made its first foray into Asia-Pacific this week by launching its platform in Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday.

Winnebago (WGO) -- Loser

It was a rough holiday quarter for Winnebago. The RV maker posted uninspiring financial results this week with profitability declining to 30 cents a share after ringing up 35 cents a share a year earlier. Analysts were holding out for a small increase. Winnebago's revenue also climbed a mere 3 percent, well short of the 11 percent surge that Wall Street was forecasting.

This should be a great time for the RV industry. Gas prices are low, making a rolling house a more viable investment. We're also seeing encouraging growth in the economy and travel industries, making it a bigger shock to see Winnebago fall woefully short of expectations.

Facebook (FB) -- Winner

The leading social networking website operator hosted its annual F8 powwow for developers, and there were plenty of intriguing announcements including new programs and news on the consumer rollout of its Oculus Rift virtual reality gear.

The nugget that has generated the most interest on Wall Street is that its Messenger platform will be opened up for third parties. There have already been dozens of applications built by bigwig developers. One application would allow Facebook users to interact with online retailers after purchases to communicate and track orders, potentially reinventing e-commerce. A lot of Facebook's monetization these days originated from developments announced at F8, and there's plenty of meat this time around.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Facebook and Netflix. 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.

Originally published