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NYSEBHE
Benchmark Electronics Reports First Quarter Results
PRNewswire
ANGLETON, Texas

Benchmark Electronics, Inc. announced sales revenue of $432 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2001 -- an increase of 24% from $349 million in the same period a year earlier. Net income excluding restructuring charges was $6.0 million for the quarter, a 203% increase over net income of $2.0 million in the same quarter of 2000. Cash EPS excluding restructuring charges on a fully diluted basis was 41 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31, 2001, compared to 24 cents per share for the same quarter in the year earlier.

Our first quarter was in line with our revised expectations. This quarter was impacted by the general slowdown in the technology marketplaces, which affected not only existing customer programs but also the pace of the new program rampings. We have taken aggressive measures to adjust our cost structure to the current market conditions. Based on current demand forecasts from our customers for the second quarter, we anticipate revenue to be approximately 10 - 15% below the first quarter and cash earnings per share in the range of 20 to 25 cents, excluding any restructuring charges.

Donald E. Nigbor, president and CEO of Benchmark Electronics, Inc. commented: "Benchmark has undertaken the very painful steps of reducing our workforce in line with the revenue forecasts from our customers. We value each of our team members greatly and take these steps only when required by the business environment. Although this downturn has been rapid and deep, we remain confident of Benchmark's future and the future of the EMS industry."

  First Quarter Financial Trend Highlights
  --  Gross margin was 7.5%, which is consistent with the fourth quarter
      2000.
  --  Selling general and administrative expenses remained at 3.3% for the
      first quarter 2001.
  --  Inventories decreased by $36 million in the quarter to $310 million
      as compared to $346 million for the fourth quarter 2000.  Inventory
      turns remained at 5.2 for the quarter.
  --  Accounts receivable decreased by $42 million in the quarter to
      $235 million as compared to $278 million for the fourth quarter 2000.
      Days sales outstanding improved to 49.0 for the quarter.

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include component availability and cost, risk of component price fluctuations, reliance on major customers, delays, reductions and cancellations of orders forecasted by customers, fluctuations in quarterly operating results, changes in technology, competition, the ability to manage through an industry downturn, the ability to manage integration of acquired operations, risks associated with international sales and operations, interest rate risk, environmental regulations, litigation, market risk, segment risk, the ability to retain key personnel, our level of indebtedness, a deterioration in the condition of the capital markets and the ability to maintain our technological and manufacturing process expertise. For a further list and description of risks and uncertainties, see the reports filed by Benchmark with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically forms 8-K, 10-Q, 10-K and S-3. Benchmark disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Benchmark Electronics, Inc. is in the business of manufacturing electronics and provides its services to original equipment manufacturers of telecommunication equipment, computers and related products for business enterprises, video/audio/entertainment products, industrial control equipment, testing and instrumentation products, personal computers and medical devices. Benchmark's global operations include 16 facilities in six countries. Benchmark's Common Stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BHE.

A conference call hosted by Benchmark management will be held today at 9:00 am CDT to discuss the financial results of the Company and its future outlook. This call will be broadcast via the Internet and may be accessed by logging on to our website at http://www.bench.com/. Additional information in the form of a slide presentation that summarizes and discusses the quarterly results may also be found on the website.

               Benchmark Electronics, Inc. and Subsidiaries

               Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
              (Amounts in Thousands, Except Per Share Data)
                               (UNAUDITED)

                                                    Three Months Ended
                                                         March 31,

                                                    2001           2000

  Sales                                           $431,905        349,155
  Cost of sales                                    399,742        325,509

   Gross profit                                     32,163         23,646

  Selling, general and administrative expenses      14,160         12,681
  Restructuring charges (a)                          1,266            ---
  Amortization of goodwill                           3,222          3,220

   Income from operations                           13,515          7,745

  Other income (expense):
   Interest expense                                 (5,749)        (5,563)
   Other                                              (463)           828
  Total other expense, net                          (6,212)        (4,735)

   Income before income taxes                        7,303          3,010

  Income tax expense                                 2,191          1,033

   Net income                                       $5,112          1,977

  Earnings per share:
   Basic                                             $0.26           0.12
   Diluted                                            0.25           0.12
   Cash                                               0.36           0.24

  Weighted average number of shares outstanding:
   Basic                                            19,597         16,248
   Diluted                                          20,324         17,173


  (a)  During the quarter ended March 31, 2001, we recorded restructuring
       charges of $1.27 million ($0.89 million after-tax) related to
       reductions in force.

  Earnings per share before restructuring charges:
   Basic                                             $0.31           0.12
   Diluted                                            0.30           0.12
   Cash                                               0.41           0.24


               Benchmark Electronics, Inc. and Subsidiaries

                   Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet
                              March 31, 2001
              (Amounts in Thousands, Except Per Share Data)
                               (UNAUDITED)

  Assets

  Current assets:
   Cash                                            $22,646
   Accounts receivable, net                        235,280
   Inventories, net                                309,652
   Other current assets                             18,032
    Total current assets                           585,610

  Property, plant and equipment, net               129,053
  Other assets, net                                 18,069
  Goodwill, net                                    162,214

    Total assets                                  $894,946

  Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity

  Current liabilities:
   Current installments of other long-term debt    $21,134
   Accounts payable                                204,987
   Other current liabilities                        28,890
    Total current liabilities                      255,011

  Revolving line of credit                          73,000
  Convertible subordinated notes                    80,200
  Other long-term debt, excluding
   current installments                             61,716
  Other long-term liabilities                       14,963

  Shareholders' equity                             410,056

    Total liabilities and shareholders' equity    $894,946

SOURCE: Benchmark Electronics, Inc.

Contact: Cary T. Fu, Executive Vice President, or Gayla J. Delly, Vice
President Finance, both of Benchmark Electronics, Inc., 979-849-6550

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