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Why a2 Milk, Pilbara Minerals, Speedcast, & Westpac shares dropped lower today

In afternoon trade the S&P/ASX 200 index is on course to record a solid gain. At the time of writing the benchmark index is up 0.3% to 6,706.9 points.

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

The A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) share price is down 2% to $11.82. The infant formula and fresh milk company’s shares have come under pressure following a broker note out of Citi. Its analysts have retained their sell rating and warned that its margins could soften due to management’s focus on growth over profitability. In addition to this, it notes that a Chinese infant formula producer has launched an a2-only product.

The Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) share price has fallen over 7% to 35 cents despite there being no news out of the lithium miner. However, this could be a case of profit taking from traders after a very strong gain last week. Pilbara Minerals’ shares shot higher after protestors blocked lithium operations in Chile.

The Speedcast International Ltd (ASX: SDA) share price has crashed 6% lower to 93.5 cents. Investors have been selling the remote communications company’s shares after its credit rating was downgraded. S&P Global has lowered its issuer credit rating to B- from B and maintained the outlook as Negative. Speedcast has advised that it does not have a ratings covenant in its debt facilities. As a result, this change has no direct impact on its current funding costs.

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is back from its trading halt and down 2.5% to $27.17. Investors have been selling the banking giant’s shares after its slashed its final dividend by 15% to 80 cents per share and launched a $2.5 billion capital raising. This morning the bank successfully completed the institutional component of the capital raising, pulling in $2 billion at $25.32 per share. Westpac’s shares were down as much as 5% at one stage today before recovering slightly.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of A2 Milk. 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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