Why these 4 ASX shares dropped lower today

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has followed the lead of international markets and pushed notably higher on Thursday. At the time of writing the index is up 0.9% to 5,893 points.

Four shares that have failed to follow the market higher today are listed below. Here’s why they have dropped lower:

The Healthscope Ltd (ASX: HSO) share price has fallen 4% to $1.79 following the release of its half-year results. The private hospital operator disappointed the market with its 17% decline in group operating net profit after tax to $78.2 million despite a 4.9% increase in revenue. Looking ahead, management expects second-half operating EBITDA to be higher year-on-year. Furthermore, it is optimistic that this momentum will be carried over to FY 2019.

The IPH Ltd (ASX: IPH) share price has plunged 19% lower to $4.15. This morning the leading intellectual property services company posted a 9% decline in first-half underlying EBITDA to $36.4 million. Management has blamed FX headwinds and increased investment in data and analytics software for the poor result.

The Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL) share price is down 2.5% to $23.61 following the release of a mixed half-year result. Although the healthcare company posted a 9% increase in first-half EBITDA, management has reaffirmed its full-year growth guidance of 6% to 8%. Considering its shares are changing hands at 21x trailing earnings, it seems that some investors feel this growth may not be sufficient to justify the premium.

The Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) share price has fallen 3% to $12.93. This morning the insurer and regional bank announced a 15.8% drop in half-year profit compared to the prior corresponding period. This was largely due to the poor performance of its Australian insurance operations. This side of the business saw net profit after tax fall 28.5% to $264 million. Management blamed significant business investment and the impact of the Victorian hail storm for the poor performance.

If you need a lift after today's declines then look no further than these top growth shares.

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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 IPH 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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