4 stocks smashed on the ASX today

It was a bloodbath on the ASX today, with the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) losing around 1.6%, following on from steep falls in US markets overnight.

While none of our top 20 companies escaped the beating, only Santos Limited (ASX: STO) fell more than 5%, losing 8.6%, thanks to another drop in the oil price overnight.

Here are another 4 companies that were taken out the back and roughed up by investors.

Panorama Synergy Limited (ASX: PSY) dropped 12.3% to 28.5 cents. A volatile stock, shares in the high-tech company jump around like a yo-yo. Today was no different, given the company last updated investors on December 19, 2014. With no news, you can put today’s move down to normal market volatility for Panorama.

Metcash Limited (ASX: MTS) fell 8.4% to $1.63 again on no official news from the company. The Australian Financial Review has suggested that short sellers are targeting retail stocks including large defensive stocks such as Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) and Metcash, amid a price war between the large supermarkets and weak consumer confidence before the February reporting season.

Fleetwood Corporation Limited (ASX: FWD) lost 8.2% to close at $1.46. The theme continues of stocks being smashed, despite no news from the company. Fleetwood builds and manages portable accommodation villages for resource workers in Western Australia and Queensland, as well as building and selling caravans. Both sides of its business are being hammered, and shares have plunged 80% in the past five years. Add in rising debt levels, and this is one company to avoid.

Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX: LYC) fell 8.8% to 6.2 cents. The rare earths miner is likely to continue appearing in stocks moving heavily in both up and down directions, given its relatively low share price. For how long that will continue though, remains to be seen. The company desperately needs rare earths prices to rise, so it can make a profit and generate some cash flow to repay its debts. That appears highly unlikely and investors are more likely to do their dough investing now.

Luckily, there are still quality companies paying decent dividends. The Australian Financial Review says, "good quality Australian shares that have a long history of paying dividends are a real alternative to a term deposit.” Get “3 Stocks for the Great Dividend Boom” in our special FREE report. Click here now to find out the names, stock symbols, and full research for three of our favourite income ideas, all completely free!

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

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