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Why these 4 ASX shares have been SMASHED today

In afternoon trade the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has just managed to edge its way into positive territory. At the time of writing the index is up 0.1% to 5,545 points.

Four shares which have been acting as a major drag on the market today are as follows:

Caltex Australia Limited (ASX: CTX) shares have fallen 4% to $29.35, a day after the fuel retailer released its full year profit guidance. In FY 2016 management expects historic cost profit after tax to be between $560 million and $580 million. Up from $520 million a year earlier. I believe this is a reasonably solid result considering the challenging year it has had. At the current price it looks good value in my opinion.

Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (ASX: MYX) shares are down 10% to $1.28 after news broke of 20 U.S. states filing a lawsuit against it and five other pharmaceutical companies for alleged price-fixing of generic drugs. Its shares at one stage were lower by as much as 22% before rebounding strongly. Management once again reiterated that any fine imposed will not be material to earnings. This could mean today’s sell off is a huge overreaction.

Perseus Mining Limited (ASX: PRU) shares have collapsed 28% to 38 cents following further drops in the gold price overnight. Almost all of Australia’s listed gold miners are suffering from heavy declines today as traders fear the gold price may crater as U.S. interest rates rise at a quicker-than-expected pace. The spot gold price is currently fetching US$1,130 an ounce. This is the lowest level it has traded at since the start of February.

Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX: SRX) shares have fallen almost 4% to $15.77. On Monday the cancer treatment specialist was issued with a ‘please explain” notice by the ASX following the release of a shocking trading update. Investors don’t appear satisfied with the company’s response and have continued to sell its shares today. This seems like the right move in my opinion.

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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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