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Applied Micro rises on upgrade

Telecommunications chip maker Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (Nasdaq: AMCC) gained 6 percent Friday following an upgrade from Merrill Lynch.

Shares were up 15 5/16 to 262 3/8. The stock has been climbing since the company beat estimates in its third quarter.

Merrill Lynch said it raised its investment rating on the stock to "buy" from "accumulate" and its risk rating to high from above average. The earnings estimate for 2000 was also raised to 77 cents a share from 72 cents a share, and its 2001 earnings estimate to $1.39 from $1.12 a share.

Analyst Mark Lipacis set a price target of $320 a share on the stock.

"We believe that the fundamentals for the company are as solid as ever, and we (have) increased confidence in the company's ability to beat our earnings per share and revenue estimates for FY2000 and FY2001,'' Lipacis said in a report.

Applied Micro competes with other communications chip makers such as Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM) and Conexant (Nasdaq: CNXT).