Steve Smith, the 46-year-old chief financial officer of Applied Micro Circuits ( AMCC), announced his retirement Wednesday. The company is looking for a successor.

Smith, who has held most of the major accounting posts at the advanced chipmaker, said he wants to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests. The retirement will occur at the end of 2004.

Applied Micro's stocks rose 2 cents, or 0.6%, to $3.32 in after-hours trading after the news hit. The stock fell 10% on July 21 after the company reported a second-quarter loss of $21.8 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $53.4 million, or 18 cents a share.

Analysts expressed concerns about Applied Micro's ability to integrate a chip portfolio it recently acquired from IBM ( IBM). Applied also recently conceded in shareholder litigation to split the posts of chief executive and chairman among two people, and add a pair of independent directors to its board.

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