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Why Afterpay, Challenger, Ruralco, & Wesfarmers shares dropped lower today

James Mickleboro
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The S&P/ASX 200 index has pushed higher on Thursday despite declines on Wall Street overnight. In afternoon trade the benchmark index is up 0.1% to 6,552.2 points.

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

The Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) share price has crashed 14% lower to $22.03 after announcing the receipt of a notice from AUSTRAC requiring it to appoint an AUSTRAC-authorised external auditor to carry out an audit in respect of its AML/CTF compliance. Afterpay has welcomed the opportunity to continue to work closely and constructively with AUSTRAC and “will approach this formal process as an opportunity to ensure that our AML/CTF compliance is robust.”

The Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) share price is down 7.5% to $7.06 after providing a trading update ahead of its investor day event. The annuities company revealed that it now expects to hit the low end of its downgraded normalised net profit before tax guidance of $545 million to $565 million. Unfortunately, it expects another tough year in FY 2020 and has provided normalised net profit before tax guidance of between $500 million and $550 million. This is due partly to lower equities growth and lower interest rates on shareholder capital.

The Ruralco Holdings Ltd (ASX: RHL) share price has fallen 3.5% to $4.13 after the ACCC released a statement of issues raising preliminary competition concerns about Nutrien’s proposed acquisition of Ruralco. The two companies supply rural merchandise such as fertiliser, fencing and animal health products and other services through their branded retail store networks. The ACCC is concerned that the acquisition could lessen competition materially.

The Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) share price has dropped 4.5% to $36.47 following the release of a trading update for its Kmart Group division. Due to high levels of competition and promotional activity, Kmart Group’s sales growth has been slower than expected. As a result, EBIT from continuing operations for Kmart Group is expected to be down between 10.5% to 18.4% in FY 2019.

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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 Challenger Limited and Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. 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.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 2019