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4 ASX stocks savaged by the market today

It hasn’t been a good start to the new week, with the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) sliding 0.5% to 5,524 points.

The banks led the way down, although Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC) went ex-dividend today, with 92 cents of the $1.37 fall attributed to that.

Here are 4 other companies who have seen their share prices savaged by investors today…

Azure Healthcare Ltd (ASX: AZV) saw its share price almost halve, losing 46.7% to close at just 24 cents. The company today announced that it expected its first half profit for the six months to end of December 2014 to come in between $0.8 million and $1.2 million, compared to $2.2 million in the previous year. It seems the company has increased spending on staff and R&D expenditure to “resource itself for future anticipated growth”. The price fall seems rather harsh in those circumstances.

Anteo Diagnostics Ltd (ASX: ADO) lost 11.5% to 11.5 cents today, with investors obviously not pleased with the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) update. Was it the millions of options issued to directors, more shares issued under the Executive/Employee Share Plan, or approval of an additional 10% placement capacity? It could be all of the above, which could see shareholders existing holdings diluted. It seems clear that some companies don’t get that retail investors are waking up to the fact they get excluded from institutional placements and are voting with their feet.

Boart Longyear Ltd (ASX: BLY), the drilling services and equipment supplier, dropped 11.1% to 20 cents, despite no news from the company. Boart recently announced that it had partly refinanced its Senior Secured Notes which were due on October 2018. Ongoing doubts over the company’s ability to continue to operate may well have weighed on investors minds, and the recent run up in price from around 14 cents may well have been a ‘dead-cat bounce’.

Photo-mapping company Nearmap Limited (ASX: NEA) saw its shares pummelled down 9% to 70 cents, possibly as a result of the strong price appreciation in recent weeks. Despite today’s drop, Nearmap shares have rallied 36% since October 13, after the company announced its expansion into the US. Given the potential in the US market, Nearmap says it wants to achieve sales of between $30 and $50 million there by December 2017, but given its success in Australia, that may be a conservative estimate.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in Nearmap. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga