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NYSEBHE
Benchmark Electronics Reports Strong First Quarter 2004 Results
PRNewswire-FirstCall
ANGLETON, Texas

Benchmark Electronics, Inc., a leading contract manufacturing provider, announced sales revenue of $481 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2004, compared to $448 million for the same quarter last year. First quarter net income was $15.2 million, or $0.36 per diluted share. In the comparable period last year, net income was $17.3 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, which included a contract settlement gain of $5.5 million, net of tax, or $0.13 per diluted share. Without the effect of the contract settlement gain in the first quarter of 2003, the Company's net income was $11.8 million, or $0.31 per diluted share.

"Our new program activities have gained momentum and the overall technology marketplace has shown improvement. Another excellent quarter resulted from our team's performance. With a high number of variables impacting our quarter, our team remained focused and flexible and delivered strong results," commented Cary T. Fu, President of Benchmark Electronics, Inc.

  First Quarter 2004 Financial Highlights

   --  Operating margin of 4.5%.
   --  Return on invested capital of 14%.
   --  Working capital metrics were impacted by new program introduction
       delays, back end loading of shipments and production mix changes.
   --  Concentration of revenues reduced to 33% from top customer.
   --  Cash balance at March 31, 2004 of $302 million.
   --  No bank debt outstanding as of March 31, 2004.
   --  Accounts receivable increased by $22 million during the quarter to
       $231 million.
   --  Calculated days sales outstanding increased to 43 days for the
       quarter.
   --  Inventories increased by $31 million during the quarter to
       $270 million.

  Second Quarter 2004 Guidance

   --  Revenue in the second quarter of 2004 is expected to be between
       $465 million and $490 million.
   --  Earnings per share for the second quarter of 2004 are expected to be
       $0.35 to $0.39 per diluted share.

  Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release includes financial measures for earnings and earnings per share that excludes certain items and therefore are not in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). A detailed reconciliation between the GAAP results and results excluding special items (non-GAAP) is included at the end of this press release. By disclosing this non-GAAP information, management intends to provide investors with additional information to further analyze the company's performance and underlying trends. Management utilizes a measure of net income and earnings per share on a non-GAAP basis that excludes certain items to better assess operating performance and to help investors compare our results with our previous guidance.

Non-GAAP information is not necessarily comparable to other companies. Non-GAAP information should not be viewed as a substitute for, or superior to, net income or other data prepared in accordance with GAAP as measures of our profitability or liquidity. Users of this financial information should consider the types of events and transactions for which adjustments have been made.

Forward-Looking Statements

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, 2003 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, industrial control equipment, testing and instrumentation products, and telecommunication equipment. Benchmark's global operations include facilities in eight 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 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 www.bench.com .

               Benchmark Electronics, Inc. and Subsidiaries

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

                                                         Three Months
                                                            Ended
                                                          March 31,

                                                        2004       2003

   Net sales                                        $ 480,966    448,470
   Cost of sales                                      443,809    412,865

        Gross profit                                   37,157     35,605

   Selling, general and administrative expenses        15,721     16,472
   Contract settlement                                    ---     (8,108)

        Operating income                               21,436     27,241

   Other income (expense):
      Interest expense                                   (765)    (2,570)
      Other                                               433        816
   Total other expense, net                              (332)    (1,754)

        Income before income taxes                     21,104     25,487

   Income tax expense                                   5,909      8,156

        Net income                                  $  15,195     17,331

   Numerator for basic earnings per share
    - net income                                       15,195     17,331
   Interest expense on 6% convertible debt,
    net of tax                                            ---        818
   Numerator for diluted earnings per share         $  15,195     18,149

   Denominator for basic earnings per share -
    weighted average number of common shares
    outstanding during the period                      40,954     36,764
   Incremental common shares attributable to
    exercise of outstanding dilutive options            1,399      1,430
   Incremental common shares attributable to
    conversion of 6% convertible debt                     ---      2,993

   Denominator for diluted earnings per share          42,353     41,187

   Earnings per share:
        Basic                                       $    0.37       0.47
        Diluted                                     $    0.36       0.44


               Benchmark Electronics, Inc. and Subsidiaries

                   Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet
                              March 31, 2004
                          (Amounts in Thousands)
                               (UNAUDITED)

  Assets

  Current assets:
      Cash                                                $    301,864
      Accounts receivable, net                                 230,755
      Inventories, net                                         269,726
      Other current assets                                      27,411
        Total current assets                                   829,756

  Property, plant and equipment, net                            80,133
  Other assets, net                                              6,560
  Goodwill, net                                                113,478

        Total assets                                      $  1,029,927

  Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity

  Current liabilities:
      Current installments of other long-term debt        $         17
      Accounts payable                                         265,688
      Other current liabilities                                 73,207
        Total current liabilities                              338,912

  Other long-term debt, excluding current installments               7
  Other long-term liabilities                                    8,308
  Shareholders' equity                                         682,700

        Total liabilities and shareholders' equity        $  1,029,927


               Benchmark Electronics, Inc. and Subsidiaries

        Consolidated Statement of Income - Excluding Special Items
                    Three Months Ended March 31, 2003
                          (Amounts in Thousands)
                               (UNAUDITED)

                                          As                      Before
                                       Reported     Special       Special
                                                     Items         Items

  Net sales                          $ 448,470         ---       448,470
  Cost of sales                        412,865         ---       412,865

      Gross profit                      35,605         ---        35,605

  Selling, general and administrative
   expenses                             16,472         ---        16,472
  Contract settlement                   (8,108)      8,108           ---

      Operating income                  27,241      (8,108)       19,133

  Other income (expense):
    Interest expense                    (2,570)        ---        (2,570)
    Other                                  816         ---           816
  Total other expense, net              (1,754)        ---        (1,754)

      Income before income taxes        25,487      (8,108)       17,379

  Income tax expense                     8,156      (2,595)        5,561

      Net income                     $  17,331      (5,513)       11,818

  Numerator for basic earnings per
   share - net income                                          $  11,818
  Interest expense on 6% convertible
   debt, net of tax                                                  818
  Numerator for diluted earnings per
   share                                                       $  12,636

  Denominator for basic earnings per
   share - weighted average number
   of common shares outstanding
   during the period                                              36,764
  Incremental common shares
   attributable to exercise
   of outstanding dilutive options                                 1,430
  Incremental common shares
   attributable to conversion
   of 6% convertible debt                                          2,993
  Denominator for diluted earnings
   per share                                                      41,187

  Earnings per share:
             Basic                                             $    0.32
             Diluted                                           $    0.31

SOURCE: Benchmark Electronics, Inc.

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

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