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These 3 ASX shares have been smashed in 2018

As I mentioned yesterday, during the first quarter of 2018 the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) fell a disappointing 5%.

This was the worst start to the year that the benchmark index has had since the Global Financial Crisis.

Three shares that have acted as a drag on the market during this time are listed below. Here’s why they have been smashed so far in 2018:

The iSentia Group Ltd (ASX: ISD) share price has plunged 39.1% so far in 2018. Things keep going from bad to worse for this media monitoring company. Just when it looked like it could be moving on from its disastrous acquisition of content marketing company King Content, its core business started to capitulate amid competitive pressures. In hindsight, its expansion into an unrelated market should have been a warning sign that its core business wasn’t firing on all cylinders. I don’t think there is a quick fix here and would suggest investors steer clear of iSentia.

The Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) share price is down a massive 42% year-to-date. Investors have been heading to the exits in their droves after it became apparent that the department store operator’s turnaround plan wasn’t working. While management has blamed this on lower foot traffic, I think it is a structural issue brought about by changing consumer preferences. I don’t, therefore, expect much by way of improvement over the next 12 months unfortunately.

The Retail Food Group Limited (ASX: RFG) share price has plunged over 62% since the start of the year. The master franchisor has come under significant selling pressure after a series of negative media reports alleged that the company has been mistreating franchisees with exorbitant supply and marketing costs for years. These reports have had a considerable impact on its business, with management expecting to close around 200 stores. I expect this trend to continue for some time, leading to its store network dwindling. This could put it at risk of breaching its debt covenants and calls into question the viability of its business.

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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 Scott Phillips.

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