Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at the close on Friday:
HVN - HARVEY NORMAN - up eight cents, or 2.6 per cent, at $3.21
Electrical and homewares retailer Harvey Norman has lifted its half year profit by 36 per cent, as it overcame a tough retail market to grow sales.
JHX - JAMES HARDIE INDUSTRIES - up 83 cents, or 6.1 per cent, at $14.50
James Hardie is rewarding shareholders with a special dividend after more than doubling its profit as the US housing market picks up.
QAN - QANTAS AIRWAYS - up one cent, or 0.9 per cent, at $1.165
Unions are seeking clarification on where Qantas will cut more than 2000 jobs following a two-hour meeting with the airline's top brass.
RFG - RETAIL FOOD GROUP - up 11 cents, or 2.5 per cent, at $4.51
Growth in earnings from its Pizza Capers and Crust Gourmet Pizza businesses has contributed to an 18 per cent rise in half year profit for Retail Food Group.
VAH - VIRGIN AUSTRALIA - steady at 35 cents
Virgin Australia's boss has blamed Qantas for the air war that has left both airlines bleeding money and says its rival does not deserve government help.
WCB - WARRNAMBOOL CHEESE AND BUTTER FACTORY - up seven cents, or 0.8 per cent, at $8.72
Canadian owned Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory says international demand for dairy commodities remains strong.
WOW - WOOLWORTHS - down 35 cents, or one per cent, at $36.07
Woolworths boss Grant O'Brien has warned that a tough federal budget and unemployment woes could hurt consumer sentiment and undermine the retail giant's hopes of delivering a strong full year profit.
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