The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has edged 0.2% higher in thin afternoon trade as big-hitting institutional investors return to the office after the holiday season. However, several shares are zooming far higher today on the back of acquisitions or improved sentiment, so let’s take a look at what might be behind today’s big market movers.

Urbanise Ltd (ASX: UBN) shares climbed more than 10% in morning trade to hit 75 cents after the cloud-based Software-as-a-Service property management specialist announced its first New Zealand clients. However, no numbers were provided as to the value of the deal, which made today’s share price surge somewhat surprising. At the time of writing shares are trading flat, although the company’s business model means it is one to watch as it retains an exciting outlook.

Adacel Technologies Limited (ASX: ADA) is another software specialist that services the global aviation industry primarily in air traffic control software and technologies. This is a niche space, where the company has been growing fast with shares up 13% to a record high of $2.58 today as the high-flyer continues to announce new client wins alongside growing revenues. Profit before tax is expected to climb 50% this financial year.

Australian Dairy Farms Group (ASX: AHF) shares are up 12.7% to 40 cents as the company continues to benefit from the wild excitement over businesses in the dairy-based foodstuffs sector. As the ASX’s only listed dairy farmer its strategy is to aggregate high quality dairy farms in Victoria and elsewhere, with the recent announcement of an $11 million acquisition of a dairy company which has certification for rapid clearance of fresh milk into China.

Farm Pride Foods Ltd. (ASX: FRM) shares are up 9% to $1.22 despite the company releasing no news to the market as the farmer and egg supplier continues to receive strong investor support alongside other agricultural businesses. The company’s earnings have been growing steadily and the business remains leveraged to growing demand for eggs in the retail sector.

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Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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 Bruce Jackson.