4 shares smashed on the ASX today

Whilst the S&P/ASX 200 (Index:^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) carved out a gain today, Orica Ltd (ASX:ORI) was one of four shares that suffered from a large decline.

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It has been a moderate start to the week for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO), with the index carving out a good gain of 0.5% to 5320 points.

It might have been a better start to the week had these four shares not been holding the index back. Here's what caused their declines today:

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) suffered a decline of 3% today to $24.38 after its shares went ex-dividend. As well as this there could be bad news for ANZ shareholders on the horizon. Possibly adding to the selling pressure we are seeing on its shares today, could be the news that ANZ and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) may be the subject of hundreds of fraudulent loans.

Despite today's declines ANZ shares are still up over 5% in the last 30 days.

Orica Ltd (ASX: ORI) shares were hammered today, dropping over 12% to $13.53. This was as a result of the explosive manufacturer reporting its interim results for the six months ending 31 March 2016. Orica's net profit after tax fell by 29% to $149 million. Furthermore, the company slashed its dividend from 40 cents per share all the way down to 20.5 cents per share. Finally the fact that management expects the market to remain challenging for the foreseeable future, has seemingly not filled investors with much confidence.

Orica's shares are now down 32% in the last 12 months.

Sky Network Television Ltd (ASX: SKT) has spent another day sinking, this time by over 6% to $4.03. It would appear that the market is still coming to terms with Friday's news that the New Zealand pay TV operator expects to lose 45,000 residential pay TV subscribers by the end of June 2016. With management stating that it believes the declining subscriber numbers will have a negative impact on FY 2017 earnings, it comes as little surprise to see the share price continuing to decline further today.

Today's decline means Sky Network's share price has now drifted into the negative, with a year-to-date decline of over 5%.

Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) shares declined for a fifth-consecutive day, this time by almost 10% to 41.5 cents. As no news was released to the market today, it would appear that Slater & Gordon's decline is a result of profit taking after recent gains saw the share price climb by over 100%. The embattled law firm is likely to see many more ups and down throughout the next few months as it looks to get its affairs in order.

Unsurprisingly Slater & Gordon's share price has dropped by 93% in the last 12 months.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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