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Why these 3 ASX stocks jumped today

The S&P/ASX 200 index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has closed up 0.4%, to 4,359.4, shrugging off weak leads from Wall Street. Banks, healthcare and property stocks helped the market up, while miners were hammered, as the iron ore price fell overnight again.

These three stocks showed the market a clean pair of heels today.

Aristocrat Leisure Limited’s (ASX: ALL) shares jumped by more than 7.7%, after the company posted a better than expected 40% jump in first half net profit to $35 million. Aristocrat also increased its dividend from 2.5 cents to 4 cents, while reducing its net debt by 24%. New and better performing games and products drove revenues higher by 28%. The company has changed its financial year end, and expects its full year profit to the end of September 2012 to be between $85 to $90 million.

Media and mining equipment company, Seven Group Holdings Limited (ASX: SVW) shares rose 6% to close at $8.05, after the company doubled full year net profit to $166 million, up from $70 million in the last year. Seven owns the WesTrac Australia business, which holds an exclusive licence to supply Caterpillar products throughout Western Australia, NSW and the ACT, as well as parts of China. It also holds a 32.5% stake in Seven West Media, a 25% stake in Consolidated Media Holdings and a 45% holding in Coates Hire. WesTrac sales jumped 82%, fuelled by the increase in iron ore and coal mining.

OneSteel – sorry, Arrium Limited (ASX: ARI) saw its shares rise 4.6% to close at 79.5 cents, still a long way off its highs of over $7.00 back in 2008. Arrium is in the process of transforming itself into an iron ore miner, and if its plans proceed on track and the stars align, the company is set to become one of Australia’s largest iron ore miners, behind BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is 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. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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