Why these 4 shares are getting hammered today

The local share market is pushing higher today with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) edging closer to 5,500 points. While many shares are enjoying strong gains today, there are also a number experiencing sharp falls.

Here are four of the market’s worst performing shares today:

Vocus Communications Limited (ASX: VOC) shares have plunged 5.9% to $5.55 following a “sell” recommendation by CLSA. In a move that was always going to cause a stir among investors, the broker cited accounting concerns and worries about the integration of recent acquisitions, together with recent staff departures, according to The Australian Financial Review. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with the accounts, but the very idea of such ‘concerns’ is a worry for already skittish investors.

TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM), one of Vocus’ primary rivals, has also fallen 1.7% to $7.96 today, adding to the heavy losses endured by the stock over the past month or so. Indeed, investors are anxious about the company’s ability to continue growing organically after releasing a somewhat lacklustre earnings outlook last month. It’s possible that concerns over Vocus’ accounting (as mentioned above) could also be weighing on the shares today.

Estia Health Ltd (ASX: EHE) shares have tanked 6.4% today to $3.09. The aged care operator revised its outlook for EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) to between $86 million and $90 million, down from an estimated ~$104 million. By comparison, it achieved underlying EBITDA of $92.7 million in FY16. Meanwhile, the company also confirmed it will no longer charge residents under the Asset Replacement Contribution because of legislative uncertainty.

St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) shares have fallen another 3.8% today to $2.79 after falling 7.6% on Wednesday. The gold miner has enjoyed a stunning gain so far in 2016 thanks to a rising gold price, but gold prices have fallen sharply over the last two days causing something of a reversal. The shares are currently fetching $2.81, down from a peak of $3.77 in July.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman 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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