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Why these 4 shares are getting slammed today

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) has traded in a tight range today as investors continue to digest a number of mixed earnings report. The main index was little changed at lunchtime, trading 0.09% lower to 5,533 points.

A number of shares have been hit particularly hard today, however, including:

G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM)

G8 Education shares have been slammed today on the back of a weaker-than-expected half-year result. The shares had fallen to a low of $2.62 in early trading, but have regained some of those losses to trade around 15% lower at $3.14 per share. Investors have been disappointed with rising staff costs and the lack of comparable growth from some of its previously acquired child care centres. Underlying net profit after tax (NPAT) rose a modest 1.6% to $32 million, although the company has noted it expects a stronger performance in the second half of the year.

Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB)

Mesoblast shares have been extremely volatile over the past five trading sessions following a positive announcement relating to one of its clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis. Although the clinical trial result was good news for the company, it probably did not warrant such a huge surge in the share price over the past few days and it appears short term traders have decided to lock in profits today. The shares have fallen by around 17% today and by nearly 60% over the past 12 months.

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd. (ASX: DMP)

Despite reporting another bumper profit result, shares of Domino’s have fallen by nearly 5% to $73.20. The pizza maker recorded a 32.7% increase in sales to $1.96 billion and a massive 43.6% increase in underlying profits to $92 million. The company also guided for the impressive growth to continue into FY17 and expects net profit to increase by around 30%. Although the result was pretty impressive, there was always a high probability of a sell-off today considering the shares were trading on an eye watering price-to-earnings ratio of around 73.

InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC)

Shares of Australia’s largest funeral operator have slumped more than 4.2% today after announcing weaker-than-expected first-half results. A lower than anticipated number of deaths resulted in a decline in comparable funeral case volumes and this resulted in overall sales growth of just 3.1%. Investors may have also been disappointed with the lack of progress being made by InvoCare’s expansion into the US market, with operations there still in the loss-making phase. Despite this, the company still managed to increase operating profit after tax by 13.2% to $21.5 million and has forecast full year EBITDA growth of 4.6%.

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Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges owns shares of G8 Education Limited. 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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