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NYSEBHE
Benchmark Electronics Reports Sequential Quarterly Increases in Revenues And Earnings for Fourth Quarter 2002
PRNewswire-FirstCall
ANGLETON, Texas

Benchmark Electronics, Inc., a leading contract manufacturing provider, announced sales revenue of $468 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2002, compared to $428 million in the previous quarter and $270 million in the same quarter of the prior year. Fourth quarter net income was $12.7 million on a GAAP basis, compared to $9.6 million net income on the same basis in the prior quarter. In the fourth quarter of the previous year, there was a net loss of $0.3 million on a GAAP basis and net income, excluding amortization of goodwill and restructuring charges, net of tax, of $3.3 million. Diluted earnings per share on a GAAP basis was $0.50 for the fourth quarter of 2002, compared to $0.38 per share on the same basis for the previous quarter and a loss of $0.02 for the fourth quarter of 2001. Cash earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2001 was $0.16 per share, excluding amortization of goodwill and restructuring charges, net of tax. During the quarter ended December 31, 2002, GAAP earnings and cash earnings per share were equal as no restructuring charges were incurred or goodwill amortization was recorded during the period.

Sales revenue for the year ending December 31, 2002 was $1.6 billion, a 28% increase from $1.3 billion of revenue in the previous year. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2002 was $35.9 million on a GAAP basis, compared to a net loss of $54.3 million on the same basis in the prior year and to net income, excluding amortization of goodwill and restructuring charges, net of tax, of $16 million for the prior year. Diluted earnings per share on a GAAP basis was $1.51 for the year ending December 31, 2002, compared to $2.77 loss per share on the same basis in the prior year and to $0.81 cash earnings per share, excluding amortization of goodwill and restructuring charges, net of tax, in the prior year.

"The fourth quarter results exceeded our expectations," commented Cary T. Fu, President of Benchmark Electronics, Inc. "The performance of our team amidst the pressures of the marketplace during 2002 was evidenced through the strong support from our customers and new program awards throughout the year. We are proud of the results we had during 2002, and look forward to 2003 as an opportunity to further improve our financial and operational efficiencies."

  Financial Highlights
  --  Cash balance at December 31, 2002 of $313 million.
  --  Cash generated from operations was $85 million in the fourth quarter
      of 2002 and $222 million for the year ended December 31, 2002.
  --  Accounts receivables decreased by $9 million to $179 million at the
      end of the fourth quarter of 2002 from $188 million at the end of the
      third quarter of 2002.  Calculated days sales outstanding improved to
      34 days from 40 days in the previous quarter.
  --  Inventories decreased to $196 million at the end of the fourth quarter
      of 2002 from $209 million at the end of the third quarter of 2002.
      Inventory turns improved to 8.8 from 7.6 in the previous quarter.

  First Quarter 2003 Guidance

Based on current customer indications, the Company expects the first quarter 2003 revenues to range from $440 million to $455 million, with corresponding earnings per share of $0.42 to $0.46. While this represents a slight sequential decrease from actual fourth quarter revenues, it reflects a slight sequential increase over our original fourth quarter expectations. Our fourth quarter revenues of $468 million exceeded our original revenue guidance of $425 million to $440 million due to increased demand levels.

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements within the scope of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The words "expect," "estimate," "anticipate," "predict," and similar expressions, and the negatives of such expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that these statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, such statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including but not limited to industry and economic conditions, customer actions and the other factors discussed in Benchmark's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2001 and its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual outcomes may vary materially from those indicated.

Benchmark Electronics, Inc. is in the business of manufacturing electronics and provides its services to original equipment manufacturers of computers and related products for business enterprises, medical devices, video/audio/entertainment products, industrial control equipment, testing and instrumentation products, and telecommunication equipment. Benchmark's global operations include facilities in seven 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 10:00 am CST 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 www.bench.com .

               Benchmark Electronics, Inc. and Subsidiaries

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

                          Three Months Ended             Year Ended
                              December 31,               December 31,
                           2002          2001         2002          2001

  Net sales             $468,179       269,643    1,630,020     1,276,950
  Cost of sales          431,513       249,246    1,505,166     1,183,440

    Gross profit          36,666        20,397      124,854        93,510

  Selling, general and
   administrative
   expenses               16,625        12,977       64,191        54,383
  Asset write-offs           ---           ---        1,608        61,720
  Restructuring charges      ---         2,475          ---         7,569
  Amortization of
   goodwill                  ---         2,552          ---        12,219

    Operating income
     (loss)               20,041         2,393       59,055       (42,381)

  Other income (expense):
    Interest expense      (2,807)       (2,823)     (11,385)      (16,998)
    Other                  1,753            73        7,296         1,086
  Total other
   expense, net           (1,054)       (2,750)      (4,089)      (15,912)

    Income (loss) before
     income taxes         18,987          (357)      54,966       (58,293)

  Income tax
   expense (benefit)       6,282           (41)      19,073        (3,981)

    Net income (loss)    $12,705          (316)      35,893       (54,312)

  Earnings (loss)
   per share:
    Basic                  $0.52         (0.02)        1.56         (2.77)
    Diluted                 0.50 (A)     (0.02)        1.51         (2.77)
    Cash                    0.50          0.16         1.51          0.81

  Earnings per share
   before restructuring
   charges:
    Basic                  $0.52          0.08         1.56          0.39
    Diluted                 0.50 (A)      0.07         1.51          0.38
    Cash                    0.50          0.16         1.51          0.81

  Weighted average
   number of shares
   outstanding:
    Basic                 24,283        19,651       22,936        19,625
    Diluted               27,141 (A)    19,651       23,732        19,625

  (A)  Includes add back of dilutive shares of 1,995 and dilutive interest
       expense on convertible subordinated notes, net of tax, of $805.


               Benchmark Electronics, Inc. and Subsidiaries

                   Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet
                            December 31, 2002
                          (Amounts in Thousands)
                               (UNAUDITED)
  Assets

  Current assets:
    Cash                                              $312,576
    Accounts receivable, net                           178,957
    Inventories, net                                   195,670
    Other current assets                                21,129
      Total current assets                             708,332

  Property, plant and equipment, net                    94,040
  Other assets, net                                     10,056
  Goodwill, net                                        119,823

      Total assets                                    $932,251

  Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity

  Current liabilities:
    Current installments of other long-term debt       $28,628
    Accounts payable                                   212,938
    Other current liabilities                           74,393
      Total current liabilities                        315,959

  Convertible subordinated notes                        80,200
  Other long-term debt, excluding current installments  28,339
  Other long-term liabilities                            8,723

  Shareholders' equity                                 499,030

      Total liabilities and shareholders' equity      $932,251

SOURCE: Benchmark Electronics, Inc.

CONTACT: Gayla J. Delly, Chief Financial Officer of Benchmark
Electronics, Inc., +1-979-849-6550

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