Today was a flat day for the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) index, which rose 0.09% to 5225 points.

A number of shares rose further however, and here’s why:

Greencross Limited (ASX: GXL) rose 5% to $7.15 after falling to $6.81 yesterday, its first time below $7 since February. Greencross’ share price has been extraordinarily choppy this year, trading as low as $4.51 and as high as $7.73 as business concerns and a takeover offer buffeted the company. At this stage it doesn’t appear as though another takeover offer will materialise, given that the most recent offer was rejected as undervaluing the business. Nevertheless, Greencross has a strong business, although it appears to trade roughly around fair value today.

Greencross shares are virtually flat in the past 12 months.

Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) jumped 10% to $0.34 on no news, following on from yesterday’s 14% rise. It seems investors are betting that the company will be able to strike a deal with its bankers, who risk losing everything if Slaters goes under, given that it has very little in tangible assets that could be recovered and sold. With the same management team still running Slater & Gordon, investors should be asking if buying shares today is the right thing to do with their hard-earned cash. Investors buying today also run the risk that the company can’t strike a deal with bankers by the end of April, which could again demolish the share price.

Slater & Gordon shares are down 95% in the past 12 months.

St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) gained 6% to $2.27 on the back of a rise in the value of gold overnight, as well as recent speculation from some in the market that gold could head as high as US$1,500 per ounce. I’m sceptical of that claim, but St Barbara’s recent quarterly report suggests it is well prepared for any eventuality, with an All In Sustaining Cost of A$947 per ounce and A$114 million in the bank. The outlook for gold is murky, but with a great cash balance and a weaker Australian dollar, St Barbara is in a good position.

St Barbara shares are up 505% in the past 12 months.

Dicker Data Ltd (ASX: DDR) leapt 8% to $1.68 after the company released a positive announcement to the market yesterday afternoon. Management announced that the quarter’s profit was tracking ahead of forecasts, while revenue was also growing strongly. Based on the most recent quarter, Dicker Data is confident of hitting its full year Net Profit After Tax forecast of $35 million, which would represent an 11% increase on the prior year. The wholesaler’s results are highly sensitive to costs due to slim profit margins, but the company doesn’t appear particularly expensive today.

Dicker Data shares are down 12% in the past 12 months.

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Motley Fool contributor Sean O'Neill owns shares of Greencross Limited. 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.