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These were the worst-performing shares on the ASX 200 last week

The Australian share market returned to form last week thanks to a series of positive full year results.

This led to the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 117.6 points or 1.8% to finish it at 6614.3 points.

Not all shares were able to follow the index higher last week. Some even recorded very disappointing declines. Here’s why these ASX 200 shares were the worst performers over the period:

The Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) share price was the worst performer on the index last week with a 16.3% decline. The lithium miner’s shares came under pressure after industry giant SQM revealed that it intends to increase production significantly in order to win market share. SQM doesn’t appear concerned that this could impact prices, much to the dismay of smaller producers such as Pilbara Minerals. 

The St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) share price sank 15.2% last week following the release of the gold miner’s full year results. In FY 2019 St Barbara achieved an underlying net profit after tax of $142 million, compared to a profit of $202 million a year earlier. Lower production and a rise in its all‐in sustaining cost to $1,080 per ounce from $891 per ounce was largely to blame for the poor result.

The Lynas Corporation Ltd (ASX: LYC) share price tumbled almost 14% lower last week. A good portion of this decline came on Friday after conglomerate Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) announced that it was pulling the plug on its $1.5 billion takeover offer. Wesfarmers looks to have decided against the move after reviewing the rare earths producer’s situation in Malaysia following last week’s update. That update revealed that the government will allow its operations to continue on the country for the next six months under certain conditions. The Wesfarmers share price pushed higher on the news, which appears to be an indication that some investors weren’t keen on the deal.

The IDP Education Ltd (ASX: IEL) share price dropped 11.6% lower last week despite the release of a very strong full year result. The language testing and student placement services company reported a 29% increase in net profit after tax to $66.3 million in FY 2019 thanks to strong growth and record results from its English Language Testing and Student Placement segments. But with its shares trading on a sky-high earnings multiple, it appears as though some investors were expecting even more. The lack of guidance for FY 2020 wouldn’t have helped things either.

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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 Wesfarmers 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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