Why these 4 shares are getting smashed today

After starting the day deep in the red, the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) has managed to stage a mini-comeback and is now trading only 0.5% lower.

The possibility of a European banking crisis is still weighing on investor sentiment but the energy sector is providing some support to the broader market.

Although the vast majority of shares are trading lower today, these four shares have been hit particularly hard:

Southern Cross Media Group Ltd (ASX: SXL)

Shares of Southern Cross have plunged more than 14% today after it was announced that Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX: NEC) had sold its entire 9.99% stake in the company for $1.54 per share. Both companies held takeover discussions late last year that eventually fell through, but this latest move by Nine would seem to suggest any future takeover is unlikely. Despite today’s fall, shares of Southern Cross have still managed to gain more than 60% over the past 12 months.

Brainchip Holdings Ltd (ASX: BRN)

After spiking by as much as 150% yesterday, shares of Brainchip have fallen 12.7% today with some investors understandably deciding to take profits. The company has developed an interesting processing-based technology that it claims has the ability to autonomously and rapidly learn and associate information just like the human brain. Although Brainchip’s technology is still in the early stages of commercialisation, it has managed to secure a contract with a Las Vegas casino to provide a security monitoring system which it believes could revolutionise casino surveillance.

Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN)

Shares of Mineral Resources have dropped by around 4% today after lithium miner, Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS), announced that it has issued a dispute notice in relation to the validity of its Pilgangoora Asset Sale Agreement with Mineral Resources. Both companies have been disputing the terms of the agreement and the issue will now be resolved by an independent expert for a final and binding determination.

Estia Health Ltd (ASX: EHE)

Estia Health shares have fallen by around 3.5% today, despite the absence of any new company announcements. The aged care sector has been an area of concern for the market over the past six weeks and it appears investors are still weighing up the risk-reward potential of the sector. Fears of government funding cuts, along with various governance issues, have plagued Estia in particular and this has seen its share price cut in half since the start of the year.

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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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