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Tech Industry

Quepasa.com looking for white knight

    Quepasa.com became the latest struggling Internet company to plea for help Friday, announcing that it had tabbed the investment banking firm Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. to find someone to bail it out.

    Quepasa.com (Nasdaq: PASA) said it authorized the firm to consider several options, including strategic alliances, significant equity investments in the company, a merger or the sale of the company or significant portions of its business.

    Earlier this month, the Hispanic community Web site said it would take a non-material restructuring charge in its second quarter after slashing more than 30 percent of its workforce.

    In its first quarter, Quepasa.com posted a loss of $10.7 million, or 68 cents a share, on sales of $856,585.

    Analysts expect it to lose 65 cents a share this quarter and $2.16 a share in the fiscal year. It's not expected to turn a profit until the third quarter of fiscal 2001.

    Its shares slipped to a 52-week low of 1 5/16 Friday.

    After a initial public offering in June, the stock moved as high as 26 7/8 in July.

    Both analysts covering the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

    Reuters contributed to this report.