Why these 4 ASX shares are getting smashed today

It’s been a slow start to the week for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO). In early afternoon the index is about flat at 5,362 points.

Four shares which have acted as a drag on proceedings today are below, with each suffering from notably steep declines. Here’s why…

Automotive Holdings Group Ltd (ASX: AHG) shares have fallen over 6% to $3.64. On Friday the company provided a less-than-impressive trading update to the market which revealed a year-on-year 20% drop in net profit after tax between July and October. A poor performance from its Refrigerated Logistics segment was largely to blame. Although its shares rallied on Friday following the release, the stock has now given back the majority of these gains.

BT Investment Management Ltd (ASX: BTT) shares have dropped 5% to $10.99 despite there being no news out of the investment management company. I believe the likely reason for the decline is profit taking. After all, prior to today its shares had rocketed higher by 22% in the last month following a strong profit announcement.

Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX: KAR) shares have plunged 19% to $1.89 after an announcement revealed that its proposed acquisition of two oil projects from Brazilian giant Petrobras was hanging by a thread. Petrobras has been ordered to cease the sales process after being taken to court for allegedly failing to comply with relevant Brazilian regulatory requirements during the bidding process. The loss of these oil projects would be a massive blow to Karoon Gas.

Sigma Pharmaceutical Limited (ASX: SIP) has declined 6.5% to $1.23 despite no news out of the owner and operator of the Amcal and Chemist King pharmacy brands. Today’s drop is likely to be the result of a research note out of Morgan Stanley which reveals that its analysts have downgraded Sigma to an underweight rating with a $1.20 price target. Sigma was starting to look very expensive, so this downgrade doesn’t come as a big surprise.

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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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