Here’s why these 3 ASX shares have been destroyed this year

I would imagine that 2016 will go down as a year to remember for shareholders of Catapult Group International Ltd (ASX: CAT) and Class Ltd (ASX: CL1). Year to date the two growing companies’ shares are up a whopping 86% and 130% respectively.

Unfortunately though not all investors will want to remember 2016. So far shareholders of the following three shares have had a year to forget. Here’s why:

Billabong International Limited (ASX: BBG)

So far in 2016 the share price of this surfwear retailer has plummeted by 55%. It’s not hard to see why either. Billabong recently reported a $23.7 million full year loss despite a 4.5% lift in sales to $1.1 billion. The retailer’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, and impairments margin dropped from 51.7% to just 45.2% for the year, with higher input costs being behind much of the decline. Surfwear clearly isn’t a great place to be right now. The shares of rival Surfstitch Group Ltd (ASX: SRF) are down 90% year to date. Personally I would stay well clear of both shares, despite how cheap they may appear.

Capitol Health Ltd (ASX: CAJ)

The share price of this provider of diagnostic imaging and related services has plunged 52% in 2016. These declines all started when Capitol Health revealed that it had been suffering from weakening demand as a result of the Medicare Benefits Schedule review and after the Federal government announced budget cuts that would see rebates for the sector scrapped. This ultimately led to the company posting a $4.7 million loss in FY 2016. Although management advised that it saw an improvement in the second half, it still expects FY 2017 revenue to be influenced by government policy and industry response. As a result it might still be a little too soon to invest in Capitol Health in my opinion.

Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH)

The embattled law firm which recently posted a $1 billion loss has unsurprisingly seen a 51% drop in its share price year to date. Although the worst may be potentially behind the company now, it is still going to be a long road to recovery. In FY 2016 the company ended the year with net debt of $682.3 million on its balance sheet and net operating cash outflow of $104.2 million. In my opinion this is a share for speculators and not for investors right now. In light of this, I would recommend investors give it a wide berth to focus on other areas of the market.

Instead of risking your money in Slater & Gordon I would highly recommend investors look at these three fantastic shares instead.

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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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