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Stocks to watch at close on Thursday

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Stocks to watch

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AAP

2013-02-21

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

AAD - ARDENT LEISURE GROUP - down 11.5 cents at $1.475

Ardent Leisure has boosted its half year profit by 11 per cent, largely thanks to its newly acquired health clubs and entertainment centres in the US.

ABC - ADELAIDE BRIGHTON LTD - up eight cents at $3.36

Construction materials maker Adelaide Brighton has built a full year profit increase despite weak home building activity, but the carbon tax is causing concern.

AMP - AMP LTD - down two cents at $5.42

Financial services firm AMP has lifted its annual profit by two per cent as it continues to benefit from its merger with AXA Asia Pacific.

APN - APN NEWS & MEDIA LTD - steady at 27 cents

Troubled newspaper publisher APN News and Media has fallen to a $455.8 million full year loss.

ASX - ASX LTD - down $1.26 at $35.76

Share market operator ASX's first half profit has fallen by 2.5 per cent due to lower investor activity in the first three months of the 2012/13 financial year.

AWC - ALUMINA LTD - down 3.5 cents at $1.215

Alumina's full year net losses have blown out and the troubled aluminium producer is bracing itself for more uncertainty ahead.

BXB - BRAMBLES INDUSTRIES LTD - up eight cents at $8.59

Pallet supplier Brambles has lifted its first half profit by 26 per cent due to expansion in developed and emerging markets.

EGP - ECHO ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LTD - down one cent at $3.47

Casino operator Echo Entertainment's first half profit has slipped five per cent and revenues are down so far in the second half of the financial year.

FXJ - FAIRFAX MEDIA LTD - down 1.5 cents at 53 cents

Embattled media group Fairfax says gloomy conditions in the advertising market are still dragging on its revenues.

IAG - INSURANCE AUSTRALIA GROUP LTD - up 15 cents at $5.57

Insurance Australia Group's (IAG) first half profit has more than tripled and the company has raised its performance targets for the full year.

ILU - ILUKA RESOURCES LTD - down 15 cents at $10.20

Mineral sands miner Iluka will axe 200 jobs as it seeks to rein in costs after reporting a 33 per cent slide in full year profit.

ORG - ORIGIN ENERGY LTD - down $1.05 at $11.33

Energy producer and retailer Origin Energy fears its full year earnings will drop by up to 15 per cent after its interim profit fell by a third.

PPX - PAPERLINX LTD - down 0.5 cents at 9.2 cents

Stationery company Paperlinx has announced a first half loss of $57.3 million due to weak market conditions.

QAN - QANTAS AIRWAYS LTD - up 4.5 cents at $1.66

Qantas Airways shares have risen after the airline reported a hefty lift in first half net profit and an improved performance at its struggling international division.

TLS - TELSTRA CORPORATION - down six cents at $4.50

Telstra is axing 648 jobs from its troubled Sensis division, which runs Yellow Pages, White Pages and Trading Post.

TTS - TATTS GROUP LTD - down six cents at $3.25

Lotteries and wagering operator Tatts Group says it has had a positive start to the second half of the 2012/13 financial year.

VRL - VILLAGE ROADSHOW LTD - steady at $4.52

Village Roadshow says it's cashing in on people's willingness to indulge in a little pleasure, after posting an 18 per cent lift in half year profit.

WHC - WHITEHAVEN COAL LTD - down 19 cents at $2.94

Coal miner Whitehaven has named the former head of Nathan Tinkler's private company as its new chief executive.