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NYSEBHE
Benchmark Electronics Reports Record Sales and Record Earnings for Fourth Quarter 2004
PRNewswire-FirstCall
ANGLETON, Texas

Benchmark Electronics, Inc., a leading contract manufacturing provider, announced sales revenue of $524 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2004, compared to $487 million for the same quarter last year. Fourth quarter net income was $20.2 million, or $0.47 per diluted share. In the comparable period last year, net income was $13.4 million, or $0.32 per diluted share. In the fourth quarter of 2003, excluding a special item of $2.8 million ($1.9 million net of tax) in restructuring charges, the Company had net income before special items of $15.3 million, or $0.36 cents per diluted share.

Sales revenue for the year ended December 31, 2004 was $2.0 billion, an 8.8% increase from $1.8 billion of revenue in the previous year. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2004 was $71.0 million, compared to $55.4 million for the prior year. Diluted earnings per share was $1.67 for the year ended December 31, 2004, compared to $1.39 per share in the prior year. For the year ended December 31, 2003, excluding two special items, an $8.1 million ($5.4 million net of tax) contract settlement gain and $2.8 million ($1.9 million net of tax) in restructuring charges, the Company had net income before special items of $51.9 million, or $1.31 per diluted share.

"2004 was another good year for Benchmark," commented Cary T. Fu, President and CEO of Benchmark Electronics, Inc. "We again exceeded every major goal that we set last February. We enhanced our customer base, reduced customer concentration, expanded our low cost manufacturing capacities, realigned our resources, increased our technical capabilities and delivered solid financial performance. Additionally, our 2004 new program bookings provide good momentum for a strong 2005."

  Fourth Quarter 2004 Financial Highlights

   *  Operating margin for the fourth quarter was 4.6%.

   *  Return on invested capital of 14.0%.

   *  Cash balance at December 31, 2004 of $367 million.

   *  No debt outstanding as of December 31, 2004.

   *  Accounts receivable were $251 million at December 31, 2004; calculated
      days sales outstanding were 43 days.

   *  Inventories decreased by $33 million to $257 million; inventory turns
      were 7.5 times.

   *  During the fourth quarter our tax rate was reduced by approximately 2%
      on a full year basis.  This favorable result was primarily related to
      the dissolution of an inactive foreign owned subsidiary.

  First Quarter and Full Year 2005 Guidance

   *  Revenue in the first quarter of 2005 is expected to be between $510
      million and $530 million.

   *  Earnings per share for the first quarter of 2005 are expected to be
      $0.40 to $0.44 per diluted share.

   *  For the 2005 fiscal year the Company anticipates revenue and earnings
      growth in the range of 10 - 15%.

  Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release includes financial measures for earnings and earnings per share for 2003 that exclude 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. Benchmark's results for the fourth quarter of 2003 include the impact of closing our Scotland facility during the fourth quarter of 2003. In addition, our results for the year ended December 31, 2003 also include the impact of a non-cash gain related to the settlement and release of various claims arising out of customer manufacturing agreements. We are providing information in this earnings release which adds back the one-time costs associated with the closing of our Scotland facility to net income and subtracts the one-time non-cash gain from net income. This allows investors to more readily compare the 2003 fourth-quarter and year-end results with the earnings in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) reported in 2004.

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 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 http://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,
                              2004         2003         2004           2003

  Net sales               $524,232     $487,051   $2,001,340     $1,839,821
  Cost of sales            484,489      446,277    1,847,573      1,689,548

        Gross profit        39,743       40,774      153,767        150,273

  Selling, general and
   administrative expenses  15,504       15,732      61,108          64,976
  Contract settlement            -            -           -          (8,108)
  Restructuring charge           -        2,815           -           2,815

        Operating income    24,239       22,227      92,659          90,590

  Other income (expense):
     Interest expense         (154)        (819)     (1,705)         (7,714)
     Other                     596       (1,501)      3,199             134
  Total other income
   (expense), net              442       (2,320)      1,494          (7,580)

        Income before
         income taxes       24,681       19,907      94,153          83,010

  Income tax expense         4,474        6,498      23,162          27,574

        Net income         $20,207      $13,409     $70,991         $55,436

  Numerator for basic
   earnings per share -
   net income              $20,207      $13,409     $70,991         $55,436
  Interest expense on
   6% convertible debt,
   net of tax                    -            -           -           2,180
  Numerator for diluted
   earnings per share      $20,207      $13,409     $70,991         $57,616

  Denominator for basic
   earnings per share -
   weighted average number
   of common shares
   outstanding during
   the period               41,407       40,649      41,134          38,124
  Incremental common
   shares attributable
   to exercise of
   outstanding dilutive
   options                   1,213        1,529       1,331           1,291
  Incremental common
   shares attributable
   to conversion of 6%
   convertible debt              -            -           -           2,017
  Denominator for diluted
   earnings per share       42,620       42,178      42,465          41,432

  Earnings per share:
        Basic                $0.49        $0.33       $1.73           $1.45
        Diluted              $0.47        $0.32       $1.67           $1.39



               Benchmark Electronics, Inc. and Subsidiaries

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


  Assets

  Current assets:
      Cash                                    $   367,368
      Accounts receivable, net                    251,305
      Inventories, net                            256,876
      Other current assets                         22,789
          Total current assets                    898,338

  Property, plant and equipment, net               71,569
  Other assets, net                                 6,010
  Goodwill, net                                   112,853

          Total assets                       $  1,088,770

  Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity

  Current liabilities:
      Accounts payable                       $    257,054
      Other current liabilities                    74,577
          Total current liabilities               331,631

  Other long-term liabilities                       5,622
  Shareholders' equity                            751,517

          Total liabilities and
           shareholders' equity              $  1,088,770


               Benchmark Electronics, Inc. and Subsidiaries

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

                                 As                               Before
                              Reported     Special Items      Special Items

  Net sales                   $487,051                           487,051
  Cost of sales                446,277                           446,277

       Gross profit             40,774                            40,774

  Selling, general and
   administrative expenses      15,732                            15,732
  Restructuring charge           2,815       (2,815)                   -
       Operating income         22,227        2,815               25,042

  Other income (expense):
     Interest expense             (819)                             (819)
     Other                      (1,501)                           (1,501)
       Total other expense,
        net                     (2,320)                           (2,320)

       Income before
        income taxes            19,907        2,815               22,722

  Income tax expense             6,498          919                7,417

       Net income              $13,409        1,896               15,305


  Earnings per share:
       Basic                                                       $0.38
       Diluted                                                     $0.36

  Weighted average number of
   shares outstanding:
       Basic                                                      40,649
       Diluted                                                    42,178


               Benchmark Electronics, Inc. and Subsidiaries

        Consolidated Statement of Income - Excluding Special Items
                       Year Ended December 31, 2003
                          (Amounts in Thousands)
                               (UNAUDITED)


                                   As                             Before
                               Reported     Special Items      Special Items

  Net sales                  $1,839,821                         1,839,821
  Cost of sales               1,689,548                         1,689,548

        Gross profit            150,273                           150,273

  Selling, general and
   administrative expenses       64,976                            64,976
  Contract settlement            (8,108)        8,108                   -
  Restructuring charge            2,815        (2,815)                  -
        Operating income         90,590        (5,293)             85,297

  Other income (expense):
     Interest expense            (7,714)                           (7,714)
     Other                          134                               134
  Total other expense, net       (7,580)                           (7,580)

        Income before
         income taxes            83,010        (5,293)             77,717

  Income tax expense             27,574        (1,758)             25,816

     Net income                 $55,436        (3,535)             51,901

     Numerator for
      basic earnings
      per share -
      net income                                                  $51,901

     Interest expense
      on 6% convertible
      debt, net of tax                                              2,180

     Numerator for diluted
      earnings per share                                          $54,081

     Denominator for basic
      earnings per share -
      weighted average number of
      common shares outstanding
      during the period                                            38,124

     Incremental common shares
      attributable to exercise of
      outstanding dilutive
      options                                                       1,291

     Incremental common shares
      attributable to conversion
      of 6% convertible debt                                        2,017

     Denominator for diluted
      earnings per share                                           41,432

  Earnings per share:
     Basic                                                          $1.36
     Diluted                                                        $1.31

SOURCE: Benchmark Electronics, Inc.

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

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