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Small-Cap Snapshot: Avon drops after announcing launch of content studio to buoy e-commerce growth

Also on the move are Crispr Therapeutics AG, Insys Therapeutics Inc, Phoenix New Media Ltd and Uniqure NV
Photo of Avon makeup
Last week Avon said it completed the sale of its China manufacturing facility

Avon Products Inc (NYSE:AVP) declined after announcing Monday that it has started a content studio to support e-commerce growth. The beauty products company said it has appointed MediaMonks, a global creative production company, to develop and distribute brand and product content to support online sales. Last week, London-based Avon said it had completed the sale of its China manufacturing facility to LG Household & Health Care Ltd for pretax net proceeds of about US$47 million. The plant will manufacture products for Avon's Chinese business and other markets as well as handling its own production.

The stock of Avon was down 1.1% to $3.18 in New York.

Crispr Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP) rallied after the biotech reported that it had $456.6 million in cash as of December 31, compared with $239.8 million a year earlier. Net proceeds of $307.1 million from the sale of shares in follow-on financing rounds in January and September of 2018 were offset by the company’s use of $96.2 million for operations. The Zug, Switzerland- and Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said it was on track to begin in the first half of 2019 a clinical trial for CTX110, its wholly owned allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy targeting CD19+ malignancies. 

The stock soared 25% to $39.57 on the Nasdaq.

Uniqure NV (NASDAQ:QURE) rallied on speculation that the Lexington, Massachusetts- and Amsterdam-based gene therapy company could become a merger target after Roche Holding agreed to buy Spark Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ONCE) for US$4.8 billion.

Shares of Uniqure surged 30% to US$54.23 on the Nasdaq.

Insys Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:INSY) gained after announcing Monday that it gave a presentation at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s annual meeting in San Francisco on the “comparative bioavailability” of epinephrine nasal spray and EpiPen in adults with seasonal allergies. Separately, Bloomberg reported that a former manager testified Friday at a trial that employees were told to lie to insurers to get approval for an opioid spray.

The stock gained 1.3% to US$6.24 on the Nasdaq.

Phoenix New Media Ltd (NYSE:FENG) surged after the Chinese new-media company said it has entered a binding letter of intent with an unidentified investor to sell 32% of the outstanding shares in Particle Inc, the owner of the Yidian lifestyle app, for US$448 million in cash. Upon completion of the deal, Phoenix New Media would hold 5.63% of Particle.

The stock of Phoenix New Media was up 25% to US$4.50 in New York.

The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks climbed  0.6% to 1,599.97.

Contact Dennis Fitzgerald at [email protected]

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