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5 ASX stocks that were hammered yesterday

The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) fell by 2.4% on Wednesday, to close at 4,165.5, following more falls overnight on the Dow Jones Index. Continued worries about Europe’s inability to contain the region’s debt crisis continue to heighten. Since the start of May, the index has fallen by more than 5%.

These five stocks all managed to crash by 9% or more.

Toll Holdings Limited (ASX: TOL) fell 15.2% following a profit downgrade and asset write-downs. The company has decided to reduce the carrying value of its Footwork Express business and property assets by between $146m and $166m. Despite the write-down, Footwork Express is expected to report a full year Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) loss of between $5m and $10m. Toll has also reduced the carrying value of four of its properties by $39m (post-tax). Toll expects to report EBIT for the 2012 financial year of between $400m and $420m, compared to $436m in 2011. Further write-downs and asset sales may be on the cards, with Toll undertaking strategic reviews in a number of its businesses.

Aquarius Platinum Limited (ASX: AQP) fell 13.9% to close at $1.39, as the price of platinum has fallen from a high of over US$1,580 per ounce at the end of April 2012, to close at US$1,426 an ounce yesterday. Aquarius’s stock price has followed, falling 28% in the last month.

Coalspur Mines Limited (ASX: CPL) fell 10.6% as the company released its interim financial statements for the three and nine months ended March 2012. Coalspur announced that in the nine months since June 2011, it had spent $46m of its available $68m in cash as a result of continued acquisition, exploration, evaluation and development expenditures. The company doesn’t expect any significant revenue until early 2015. Coalspur is a stock for gamblers only.

Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) fell 10.4% as junior gold miners continue to be punished by the falling price of gold, which has fallen 13% in the last six months. Gold is currently trading around US$1,545 per ounce. Saracen has also reported rising production costs, with cash costs per ounce rising from $682 in 2010 to $792 as at the end of December 2011.

Paladin Energy Ltd (ASX: PDN) saw its shares fall 9%, to close at $1.18, following a strike by workers at its Malawi uranium mine. Workers had demanded a 66% pay rise in reaction to an almost 50% devaluation of the local currency, the Malawi kwacha. The company has promised to review its salaries in six months’ time, in exchange for the workers returning to work immediately.

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Motley Fool contributor Mike King owns shares in Saracen.  The Motley Fool‘s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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