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Why these 4 ASX shares are sinking lower today

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In afternoon trade the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has edged lower and is down over 0.2% to 5,842 points.

Four shares that have fallen more than most today are listed below. Here’s why they have sunk lower:

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price is down 3% to $73.95. Almost all of today’s decline can be attributed to the banking giant’s shares going ex-dividend this morning. Shareholders can look forward to receiving the fully franked $2.00 per share interim dividend in their accounts on March 28.

The Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) share price has fallen almost 3.5% to $12.38 a day after the release of its half-year result. One broker that appears to have been less than impressed with the result was Macquarie. A note out of its equities desk today reveals that its analysts have downgraded the annuities company to a neutral rating and given its shares a lower price target of $12.95.

The Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd (ASX: DMP) share price has tumbled over 6% to $46.44 following the release of a weak first half result. Domino’s reported underlying net profit after tax growth of 5% to $63 million due largely to weakness in its Japan business. Management has, however, maintained its full-year profit growth guidance of 20%. The market appears doubtful that the company will achieve this.

The Yowie Group Ltd (ASX: YOW) share price has plunged 17% to 12 cents after the confectionery company downgraded its guidance once again. Due to the launch of a competing product in the US, sales during the third-quarter have been materially lower than the prior corresponding period. As a result, the company does not expect to achieve its revised forecast revenue guidance set in January. Instead, year-on-year growth is expected be flat. This is a company I would avoid 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 owns shares of and has recommended Challenger Limited. 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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