4 stocks smashed on the ASX today

It’s only lunchtime on the East Coast of Australia and the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has dropped 0.4% following mixed results in the US overnight.

Will the market recover and end flat, as bargain hunters enter this afternoon? I don’t know, but they might be looking closely at these 4 stocks that have tumbled…

Vocation Ltd (ASX: VET) has seen its share price crunched more than 51%, losing $1.17 off its share price to trade at $1.115. The education provider today reported that it will forego $19.6 million in government funding, despite previous assurances that its funding review would not result in material changes. The 2015 earnings impact will be around $5m, according to the company.

Gold miner Beadell Resources Ltd (ASX: BDR) has seen its shares slashed to just 28 cents, a fall of 12.5% today. In the company’s September quarterly update, Beadell says its all-in sustaining costs were US$1,150 an ounce, but was negatively impacted by waste removal at its high grade Duckhead pit. Beadell is forecasting to produce between 180,000 and 200,000 ounces of gold this calendar year, and the same amount in 2015.

BC Iron Limited (ASX: BCI) shares are down 10.6% to $1.185, and have now lost 77% of their value since the start of the year. Today the company revised down its iron ore production for the 2015 financial year from between 5.8 and 6.2 million tonnes to between 5.2 and 5.6 million tonnes. The iron ore miner says operations were slowed during the last quarter to address high clay content in some of its ore material.

Another gold miner, Silver Lake Resources Ltd (ASX: SLR) has also seen its share price crunched, losing 7.9% to fall to 29 cents. It’s not hard to see why, when the company reported all-in sustaining costs of A$1,383 per ounce in the September quarter, giving the miner the slimmest of profit margins. Clearly Silver Lake has plenty to do to lower its production costs further, or risk operating at a loss, especially if the gold price should fall from its current level of US$1,231 an ounce.

Every day that goes by, I am increasingly thankful that I sold out of both Beadell and Silver Lake in early September. It was a valuable (and expensive) lesson – one I hope to not make again.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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