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Internet IPOs lose momentum in late trading

Online content provider Alloy Online Inc. (Nasdaq: ALOY) closed up 5, or 33 percent, to 20 in its initial public offering Friday. It opened at 18 1/4 and quickly moved to a high of 23 3/16 before tailing off in late trading.

Online business services company Scient Corp. (Nasdaq: SCNT) ended up 12 5/8, or 63 percent, to 32 5/8 in its debut. The stock opened at 38 1/4 and moved to a high of 41 1/4.

Each company priced their initial offerings above their respective ranges.

Alloy Online priced its 3.7 million share offering Thursday night at 15. The price range was $12 to $14 a share. Scient's 3 million share offering was priced at 20 a share, topping the revised range between $17 a share and $19. The shares were originally expected to price between $11 a share and $13.

Alloy Online, which offers a service similar to iTurf (Nasdaq: TURF) is looking to capitalize Generation Y, the 56 million boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 24 years old. That population has $250 billion of annual disposable income. The big question is whether iTurf's shaky aftermarket performance will affect Alloy Online.

Alloy Online reported 1998 sales of $10.2 million, up from $1.8 million in 1997. Alloy gets nearly all of its revenue from merchandise sales. The company reported a 1998 loss of $6.4 million compared to $1.9 million in 1997.

BancBoston Robertson Stephens led the offering. Volpe Brown Whelan, Dain Rauscher and Ladenberg Thalmann assisted.

Scient provides services for companies that seek to combine their traditional business with the Internet. These services include consulting, Web site design, systems architecture, and application and technology infrastructure development.

The San Francisco-based company has had more than 35 customers, such as eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) and Chase Manhattan Bank.

Scient goes up against some heavy hitters. IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE: CSC) and Electronic Data Services Corp. (NYSE: EDS) do systems integration, as do the consulting parts of "Big Five" accounting firms, such as Pricewaterhousecoopers. From the online world, USWeb Inc. (Nasdaq: USWB) and Razorfish Inc. (Nasdaq: RAZR) provide similar services.

However, if IBM expects to garner about 25 percent of its revenue from Internet services, there may be larger enough crumbs to sate the smaller fish.

Scient piled up a loss of $6.7 million at the end of last year, and lost $3.7 million in the three months ending in December on revenue of $6.3 million.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Hambrecht & Quist and Thomas Weisul Partners LLC managed the offering.