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Why Challenger, Northern Star, Pinnacle, & Western Areas shares dropped lower today

In early afternoon trade the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has rebounded from a morning selloff and is down ever so slightly at 5,856.2 points.

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

The Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) share price has plunged 14.5% lower to $7.88 after the annuities company downgraded its full year earnings guidance. After a tough first half, Challenger now expects to post a full year normalised net profit before tax of $545 million to $565 million in FY 2019. This compares to FY 2018’s normalised net profit before tax of $547 million and means a range of -0.5% to +3.2% year on year growth. Previous guidance was for growth of between 8% and 12% on FY 2018’s result.

The Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) share price has dropped over 6% to $8.63. This morning the gold miner released its latest quarterly production update. Although Northern Star Resources maintained its full year production guidance of between 850,000 to 900,000 ounces of gold, investors appear concerned by management flagging rising costs.

The Pinnacle Investment Management Group Ltd (ASX: PNI) share price has tumbled 8.5% lower to $4.60 after providing a market update this morning. Although Pinnacle expects to deliver strong earnings growth in the first half, it appears some investors were expecting an even stronger result. Management advised that net profit after tax from continuing operations is expected to be $10.1 million in the first half, up 24.7% from $8.1 million in the prior corresponding period.

The Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA) share price is down 3% to $2.11 following the release of the nickel producer’s quarterly update. Although Western Areas is on track to hit its FY 2019 guidance, investors may be disappointed with the increase in unit costs and the decline in nickel prices during the second quarter.

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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 Scott Phillips.

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