Why these 4 shares are getting smashed today

Investors continue to digest the latest round of earnings results, although it hasn’t been a happy day for the local market, with the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) falling 0.6% to 5,509 points.

The financial, gold and energy sectors have been the biggest drags on the market today with support coming from the information technology and consumer discretionary sectors.

Four shares that are suffering from worse than average falls today include:

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)

Shares of Australia’s largest telecommunications company have fallen by more than 1.5% today to $5.56 after releasing a somewhat subdued underlying earnings result. Telstra was able to book a 36% increase in profits, although this was mainly the result of a $1.8 billion gain from the sales of its stake in Autohome. The company also announced plans to invest an additional $3 billion in its network over the next three years as well as a $1.5 billion share buy-back. Telstra provided earnings guidance for ‘mid to high’ single digit revenue growth, and ‘low to mid’ single digit EBITDA growth in FY17.

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)

Westpac is one of the biggest drags on the overall market today after the bank flagged third quarter weakness from some of its non-interest income related divisions. The shares have fallen by around 3% to $29.90. Westpac noted that institutional markets have remained subdued, leading to lower markets-related income and a decline in fees from debt markets activities. Higher insurance claims were also expected to contribute to third quarter non-interest income being around 5% below the 1H16 quarterly average.

AMP Limited (ASX: AMP)

Shares of AMP have fallen by more than 4% today to $5.63 despite the company not releasing any news to the market. This comes on the back of several days of smaller declines with investors looking to lock in profits after an 18% share price gain over the preceding four weeks. Investors may also be getting nervous ahead of AMP’s full year results that are scheduled to be released on the 18th of August. The wealth manager has been notorious for overpromising and under-delivering and this has resulted in pretty average long-term returns for shareholders.

St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM)

After enjoying a strong day yesterday, the gold sector has lost more than 2.2% today with St Barbara being one of the worst performers thanks to a share price fall of more than 4.6% to $3.08. The spot gold price fell marginally overnight but this was compounded for the Australian miners thanks to a 0.5% increase in the Australian dollar to above 77 US cents. Nevertheless, St Barbara still enjoys very healthy operating margins at current prices when you consider the gold price in Australian dollars is currently fetching $1741 per once and its latest production costs came in at $960 per ounce. St Barbara shares have gained a whopping 564% over the past 12 months.

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Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges 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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