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Were these the 3 worst shares on the ASX in 2017?

Although there have been a number of horror shows on the local market this year, I thought I would pick out three which I consider to be amongst the worst.

They are as follows:

iSentia Group Ltd (ASX: ISD)

After a shocking 2016, this media monitoring company followed it up with another stinker in 2017. Its shares are down a further 51% this year, extending its two-year decline to a staggering 71%. The company’s disastrous acquisition of the King Content business was initially the key driver of its decline. But since then its core business has struggled from higher levels of customer churn. As a result, management expects FY 2018 EBITDA to be as much as 22% lower compared to a year earlier. While I do like the company, I would keep a safe distance until it starts delivering consistent profit growth again.

Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd (ASX: IIL)

The worst performer on the market this year has been this biotechnology company with its massive 97.5% decline. The catalyst for this was the release of negative results from its Phase 2b trials in June for its MIS416 treatment for multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately for its shareholders, those results found that the multiple sclerosis treatment was no better than a placebo. In October the company advised that it is actively reviewing a number of possible options for the company to acquire a new technology that could be merged into the business. It had planned to make a definitive statement about the company’s future prior to Christmas, but has failed to deliver on this.

Quintis Ltd (ASX: QIN)

Remember Quintis? The shares of the sandalwood plantation manager have been suspended from trade since May 15. But prior to that they had lost 82% of their value since the start of the year due largely to a report from short-seller Glaucus Research. That report alleged that the company’s business model was a Ponzi-scheme and the true value of its shares was zero. In November Quintis posted a massive statutory net loss after tax of $416.8 million after making a significant reduction to the fair value of its biological assets. If its shares ever return to trade, I would suggest investors avoid them at all costs.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended iSentia Group Ltd. 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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