6 stocks hammered on the ASX today

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) gained 1.2% today, closing at 5,396.2, as the big miners shrugged off falling iron ore prices, and the banks continued on their merry way.

As The Age put it today, “Investors regain their mojo“.

But we’re not too sure how long it will last, given it was just the fourth positive day in the past two weeks.

For shareholders in these 6 companies though, it was a tough day at the office…

Audio Pixels Holdings Ltd (ASX: AKP), a company that develops digital speakers, was the biggest loser in the S&P/All Ordinaries (Index: ^AORD) (ASX: XAO), falling 16.5% to $7.60. That’s despite no news from the company since the end of October. Volumes were around seven times more than normal today, but the company has still managed to double its share price since the beginning of the year. This is a highly speculative stock and hasn’t posted a profit since 2008.

Mining services bore the brunt of selling today, as Ausdrill Limited (ASX: ASL) a drilling equipment and services company, dropped 10.9% to 45 cents, announced that its revenues would be cut by US$3.5 million over the next 8 months, after Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) decided to defer mining of its Stage 2 cutback at the Syama mine. Ausdrill will lose US$28 million in revenues as a result, and shares have fallen 89% since April 2012 after a series of bad news.

We’ve warned many times before that mining investment is being cut back, no, slashed is probably a better way of putting it, and mining services companies will bear the brunt of it. Today’s announcement by Ausdrill may have spooked investors in other contracting companies, with Boart Longyear Ltd  (ASX: BLY) falling 7.5% to 18.5 cents, Seymour White Limited (ASX: SWL) down 5.8% to $1.29, NRW Holdings Limited (ASX: NWH) losing 5.2% to 45.5 cents and Macmahon Holdings Limited (ASX: MAH) dropping 5% to 7.6 cents.

What continues to amaze us here at The Motley Fool, is that investors are still surprised. With more cuts to resources and energy investment to come over the next few years, the sector should could come with a warning, “Danger. High risk of serious loss of capital ahead“.

While mining services companies are being hammered from pillar to post, there's a 'hidden' set of resources stocks the market is simply overlooking. Discover the names and codes of these 3 surprising ASX plays now in The Motley Fool's brand-new FREE report. Simply click here for your free copy now.

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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