Why these 4 shares are getting hammered today

A number of disappointing company updates has sent these four shares crashing down.

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A number of disappointing company updates hasn't helped investor sentiment today and this has seen the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) trade sharply lower this afternoon. At the time of writing, the benchmark index has fallen more than 1% to 5,887 points.

The financials, materials and telecommunications sector have been the hardest hit today, while stronger performances have come from the healthcare and energy sectors.

Four shares that have been absolutely hammered today, include:

Pact Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: PGH)

The Pact Group share price has crashed more than 10% today after the packaging company painted a pretty bleak outlook for the year ahead. In a presentation released after the close yesterday it noted that demand conditions remain subdued with trading in April particularly weak in its rigid packaging businesses. Unfortunately, Pact Group now expects FY17 earnings will be generally flat on the prior year.

G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM)

The G8 Education share price has plunged more than 9% today on the back of a research note which suggests there could be a potential over-supply of childcare centres in Australia. Worryingly, it appears a large percentage of new centres are being opened within a very small radius to existing G8 Education centres. Following today's decline, the shares have now lost more than 18% over the past 12 months.

FlexiGroup Limited (ASX: FXL)

The FlexiGroup share price has dropped more than 5.1% today after the financial services company narrowed its FY17 guidance yesterday. The company was previously expecting to generate cash NPAT of $90 million to $97 million, but has revised this to $90 million to $93 million following a weaker-than-expected performance from its Certegy financing division.

Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW)

Despite reporting a 4.5% increase in third quarter sales yesterday, the Woolworths share price has fallen 2.5% today to $26.70. It appears some investors are coming to the realisation that the sharp increase in sales is likely to come at a large cost to the company's bottom line. The disappointing performance and outlook for the Big W business could also be prompting investors to lock in profits today.

Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges 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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