Why these 4 ASX shares have been crushed in October

The month of October started off strongly for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO), but in the last couple of weeks its rally has started to fade. As a result Australia’s benchmark index is down 1% month to date.

Acting as a drag on the index this month have been the following four shares. Here’s why they have fallen sharply:

Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN)

The casino operator’s share price has dropped lower by almost 17% after the arrest of several of the company’s employees in China. As China appears to be cracking down on VIP gamblers, investors are unsurprisingly concerned over the loss of a key revenue stream. Crown has tried to play down these concerns, advising that the contribution to company profits that international VIPs from mainland China make is less than 12%.

Estia Health Ltd (ASX: EHE)

It has been yet another month of doom and gloom for shareholders of the aged care operator. Its share price has plunged 19% in October after management downgraded its full year EBITDA guidance to between $86 million and $90 million. The downgrade came just a matter of weeks after previously guiding to a 13% year on year increase to $105 million. Whilst investors appear to have given up on the company, I am hopeful that the new senior management team will finally steady the ship.

Healthscope Ltd (ASX: HSO)

The shares of this leading private hospital and pathology operator are down a massive 22.5% month to date. The majority of these declines came at the end of last week when the company warned the market that first quarter trading had been noticeably weak for its hospitals. In light of this it warned that EBITDA growth would be non-existent in the segment if trading conditions didn’t improve as the year goes on. As its hospitals segment provides approximately 85% of total revenue, its underperformance impacts its overall results substantially.

Regis Resources Limited (ASX: RRL)

It’s been a tough month for a number of Australian gold miners, but Regis Resources has been one of the hardest hit. Its shares are down over 13% in October on the back of a falling gold price. Unfortunately I would imagine its shares could yet go lower if the Federal Reserve raises rates in November or December. A rate rise is widely expected to strengthen the US dollar and weaken the price of gold.

Finally, if your portfolio has been hit hard by these declines don't worry. These fast growing ASX shares could be just what you need to get your portfolio climbing higher again if you ask me. Do you own them?

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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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