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Why these 4 shares are crumbling today

A number of disappointing profit results have put a lid on investor enthusiasm today and this has seen the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) fall 0.1% to 5,803 points.

The clear underperformer today has been the telecommunications sector, although strong performances from the healthcare and materials sectors have helped to bolster the broader market.

Four shares that are having a particularly difficult day include:

Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH)

The Slater & Gordon share price has crashed more than 24% today after the embattled law firm released another worrying market update. Not only is the company still suffering from negative cash flow issues, it has today warned that its UK business is likely to book further write-downs. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a quick fix for Slater & Gordon and its lenders are undoubtedly running out of patience.

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)

The Telstra share price has dropped more than 4.6% today after it announced a 14.4% decline in first-half net profit after tax (NPAT). Sadly, there wasn’t a whole lot of positive news from Telstra except for the fact that investors will still receive a 15.5 cent per share interim dividend. This latest result may be a warning sign to other players in the market and this has seen the shares of Vocus Group Ltd (ASX: VOC) and TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) both fall by around 4% today.

Magellan Financial Group Ltd (ASX: MFG)

The Magellan share price has crashed more than 6.5% today after the global fund manager announced a 20% decline in first half earnings. It comes on the back of a 92% decline in performance fees during the period after its flagship global fund failed to outperform its benchmark index. On a more positive note, Magellan continues to attract new fund inflows and this helped to drive a 10% increase in management and service fees revenue.

Hansen Technologies Limited (ASX: HSN)

The Hansen Technologies share price has plunged 8.6% today after the company released a first-half earnings report that failed to live up to investor expectations. Although the billing company managed to grow revenues by around 18%, it could only grow earnings per share (EPS) by 6% to 7.5 cents per share. With the shares changing hands at around 26x earnings, this result was never going to be well received. Nonetheless, Hansen Technologies did re-affirm its full year guidance for revenues of between $165 million and $175 million and an EBITDA margin between 25% and 30%.

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Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges owns shares of TPG Telecom Limited and Vocus Communications Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Hansen Technologies. 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.