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Why API, Blackmores, Challenger, & Ramsay shares are dropping lower

In late morning trade the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has followed the lead of U.S. markets and pushed higher. At the time of writing the benchmark index is up 0.65% to 5,255.8 points.

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

The Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ASX: API) share price has sunk 7.5% to $1.04. This morning the pharmacy chain operator and distributor released its half year update. It posted underlying earnings before interest and tax of $41.7 million, down 6.1% on the prior corresponding period. The company also revealed that it has decided to preserve cash and not pay an interim dividend.

The Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) share price has fallen 5% to $71.21 despite there being no news out of the health supplements company. However, a third quarter update is due to be released by Blackmores in the very near future. Some investors may be locking in recent gains just in case the update disappoints the market.

The Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) share price is down 3% to $4.24. This decline appears to have been driven by a broker note out of Citi this morning. According to the note, its analysts have downgraded the annuities company’s shares to a neutral rating with a reduced price target of $4.60. The broker is concerned that there is a high risk of defaults on some of its investment portfolio.

The Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) share price has returned from its trading halt and sunk 5% lower to $61.10. This morning the private hospital operator announced the successful completion of its $1.2 billion underwritten institutional placement. These funds were raised at $56.00 per new share, which represents a 12.9% discount to its last close price. Ramsay now aims to raise a further $200 million through a non-underwritten share purchase plan.

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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 Blackmores Limited and Challenger Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Ramsay Health Care 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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