Affinity Technology Group, a maker of automated lending technology, ended the year in which it went public with a multimillion-dollar loss.

The two-year-old company, which made its initial public stock offering last April, announced a $5.3 million net loss for the fourth quarter and a $9.7 million loss for the year. These numbers were compared with fourth- quarter and yearend 1995 losses of $1.7 million and $2.3 million, respectively.

"Certainly they didn't make any money, which was expected," said Christopher T. Kelley, analyst at Morgan Keegan & Co., Memphis. Affinity is not expected to be profitable until the third quarter of this year, he said.

Based in Columbia, S.C., the company is best known for its automated loan machine, an ATM-like terminal that can take application data, issue a credit decision, and, if appropriate, print a loan check in a matter of minutes. It has sold several hundred of the so-called ALMs to some of the nation's most influential banks.

Affinity's stock traded in the $20-a-share range shortly after its IPO, but its stock price now hovers around $6. Analysts said it would be premature to take this performance as an indicator of the market's feelings toward automated lending technology.

At least one vendor has agreed with this reasoning, at least by implication. Dyad Corp., Norcross, Ga., recently announced it had entered the ALM business with a line of desktop terminals.

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