Why Telstra and these ASX 300 stocks just hit 52-week lows

Investors have been selling down these shares this year.

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The Australian share market has been a strong performer over the last 12 months.

During this time, it has climbed a solid 12%. And that's before dividends, which contribute a further 4% to the total market return.

Unfortunately, not all shares have fared as well as the market.

For example, the three ASX 300 stocks listed below have hit 52-week lows this week. Here's what you need to know:

Atlas Arteria Group (ASX: ALX)

The Atlas Arteria share price dropped to a 52-week low of $5.07 this morning. This stretches its 12-month decline to a disappointing 22%.

While today's decline has been driven by the toll road operator's shares going ex-dividend this morning, the rest of the decline can be attributed to its soft performance in FY 2023 and tax changes in France.

Commenting on the latter, the company said:

It is extremely disappointing that the French Government introduced this new tax. We, along with our partners at APRR, are committed to using all appropriate means and avenues to assert APRR's legal and contractual rights to ensure that the concession contracts are respected, and their rights are protected.

Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO)

The Core Lithium share price started the day at a 52-week low of 15.5 cents before edging higher.

Investors have been selling this ASX 300 lithium stock due to its decision to suspend its operations in response to weak lithium prices.

A recent note out of Goldman Sachs demonstrates just why this is a big red flag for investors. Goldman expects Core Lithium to go from estimated revenue of $178 million in FY 2024 to just $18 million in FY 2025 (and $34 million in FY 2026).

Core Lithium's shares are down 80% over the last 12 month.

Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS)

The Telstra share price has dropped to a 52-week low of $3.73 on Tuesday. This means the telco giant's shares are now down 16% from their 52-week high.

This decline appears to have been driven largely by investors de-rating the ASX 300 stock in response to rising interest rates.

Telstra is often regarded as a bond proxy. Unfortunately, this means that when bond yields widen, Telstra's shares lose their allure with investors. The only way for them to get it back is to trade on lower multiples that offer larger potential dividend yields to make it a more favourable option to bond yields.

The good news is that with interest rates tipped to fall later this year, it may not be long until Telstra's shares gain some new admirers.

Goldman Sachs is likely to see this weakness as a buying opportunity. It has a buy rating and $4.55 price target on its shares.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Goldman Sachs Group. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Telstra Group. 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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