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Stocks to watch at close on Wednesday

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Stocks to watch




Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at close on Wednesday:

BHP - BHP BILLITON LTD - up 17 cents at $34.98

BHP Billiton has reportedly started looking for a replacement for chief executive Marius Kloppers, but the company would only say that succession planning was an ongoing process.

CBA - COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA - up 32 cents at $57.80

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has lifted its first quarter cash profit to about $1.85 billion but warns difficult economic conditions are beginning to hit businesses.

DOW - DOWNER EDI LTD - up 20 cents at $3.62

Downer EDI shares have soared more than seven per cent after the engineering firm said it was on track to achieve its full-year profit expectations.

HIL - HILLS HOLDINGS LTD - up one cent at 84 cents

Troubled manufacturer Hills Holdings has won a multi-million-dollar contract to provide satellite communications for the federal Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

HVN - HARVEY NORMAN HOLDINGS LTD - down four cents at $1.81

Retailer Harvey Norman's profit in the first quarter of the 2012/13 financial year has dropped by 20 per cent because of falling sales.

NWS - NEWS CORPORATION - up 74 cents at $24.10


News Corporation has reported in big lift in net profit despite a weak result from its Australian newspapers due to poor advertising markets and the shift of readers online.

PDN - PALADIN ENERGY LTD - down 1.5 cents at $1.055

Paladin Energy says it will slash costs by up to $US80 million ($A76.97 million) over the next two years following falls in the uranium price.

YBR - YELLOW BRICK ROAD HOLDINGS LTD - up six cents at 30 cents

MQG - MACQUARIE GROUP LTD - up 52 cents at $31.74

A financial institution run by Mark Bouris is expected to make an announcement relating to a possible major funding arrangement with Macquarie Group.