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Why these 4 shares are getting slammed on Friday

It looks like investors will finish the week off on a positive note with the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) trading 0.7% higher at lunchtime.

The utilities, financials and materials sectors have been the biggest winners today, while the worst performers have come from the telecommunications and consumer staples sectors.

Four shares that are getting crunched today, include:

Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd (ASX: CCL)

The Coca-Cola Amatil share price has crashed more than 9.5% today after the beverage company released a disappointing market update. Unfortunately, first-half underlying net profit is expected to decline this year as a result of tough trading conditions impacting its Australian Beverages business. Investors were expecting Amatil to deliver mid-single-digit earnings growth this year, but this has now been downgraded to flat year-on-year earnings as a result of the latest update.

NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NHF)

The NIB share price has fallen 2.5% today thanks to a broker downgrade. Bell Potter has cut the shares to a ‘sell’ from a hold, but has maintained its 12-month price target at $5.12. The broker believes the recently announced changes to the 457 visa program could impact the private health insurer’s International Inbound business as tighter measures result in a decline in the volume of international workers. Bell Potter also notes that the shares have rallied strongly after its impressive first-half result and now is an opportune time to take profits.

Vocus Group Ltd (ASX: VOC)

The Vocus share price has fallen 2.6% today, despite the absence of any news from the company. The shares have been extraordinarily volatile over the past couple of weeks with a number of company specific issues and broader sector issues impacting on investor sentiment. There is little doubt that Vocus shares appear extremely cheap at current levels, although I expect the shares to remain volatile until the company releases its full-year results in August.

Zelda Therapeutics Ltd (ASX: ZLD)

Although the Zelda Therapeutics share price has plunged more than 9% today, the pot stock has still managed to record a rise of more than 300% since the beginning of March. The most recent gains come after the company announced plans to expand its clinical trial programme in Chile. Unlike some other pot stocks, Zelda is more focused on analysing the scientific research on cannabis treatments and formulations, rather than its cultivation and distribution.

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Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges owns shares of Vocus Communications Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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