November was a very positive month for the S&P/ASX 200 index. During the period the benchmark index recorded a solid 2.7% gain to finish it at 6,846 points.
Unfortunately, not all shares on the benchmark index climbed higher. Here’s why these shares were the worst performers on the ASX 200 last month:
The G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM) share price was the worst performer on the index last month with a disappointing 22.9% decline. Investors hit the sell button when the childcare centre operator downgraded its guidance for the full year. G8 Education revealed that a number of short-term earnings headwinds were impacting its FY 2020 performance. This includes an increase in supply which looks set to weigh on its occupancy levels in the near term.
The Smartgroup Corporation Ltd (ASX: SIQ) share price was out of form last month and recorded a sizeable 20.6% decline. The salary packaging company’s shares were sold off after it announced the retirement of its long-serving CEO, Deven Billimoria. Mr Billimoria has been with Smartgroup for over 19 years and in the top job since 2002. He will be replaced by the company’s current CFO, Tim Looi. Smartgroup also provided its earnings guidance for FY 2019 and is expecting NPATA growth of just 3.8%.
The Nufarm Limited (ASX: NUF) share price was one the worst performers on the index last month with a 20.2% decline. Investors were selling the agricultural chemical company’s shares after it warned that trading conditions remain tough. The company also revealed an accounting error which is set to negatively impact its first half EBITDA by $9 million. This was caused by the identification of additional sales rebate claims from German customers for the 2019 calendar year.
The Speedcast International Ltd (ASX: SDA) share price wasn’t far behind with a decline of 19%. Investors sold off the remote communications company’s shares last month after its credit rating was downgraded by S&P Global. The ratings agency has lowered its issuer credit rating to B- from B and maintained the outlook as Negative. Speedcast advised that it does not have any ratings covenant on its debt facilities, so the downgrade should have no direct impact on its funding costs. However, investors may be concerned it could impact any future refinancing of its massive debt.
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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.