Benchmark Electronics 10-K 2008
Documents found in this filing:
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007
For the transition period from to
Commission File Number 1-10560
BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
3000 Technology Drive
Angleton, Texas 77515
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of principal executive offices)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if
the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of
the Securities Act.
Indicate by check mark if
the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrants knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of large accelerated filer and non-accelerated filer in Rule 12b2 of the Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b2 of the Act).
Yes o No x
As of June 30, 2007, the number of outstanding Common Shares was 72,892,154. As of such date, the aggregate market value of the Common Shares held by non-affiliates, based on the closing price of the Common Shares on the New York Stock Exchange on such date, was approximately $1.6 billion.
As of February 27, 2008, there were 69,154,560 Common Shares of Benchmark Electronics, Inc., par value $0.10 per share, outstanding.
Documents Incorporated by Reference:
Portions of the Companys Proxy Statement for the 2008 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (Part III, Items 10-14).
Benchmark Electronics, Inc., formerly named Electronics, Inc., began operations in 1979 and was incorporated under Texas law in 1981 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Intermedics, Inc., a medical implant manufacturer based in Angleton, Texas. In 1986, Intermedics sold 90% of the outstanding common shares of the Company to Electronic Investors Corp., a corporation formed by Donald E. Nigbor, Steven A. Barton and Cary T. Fu, three of our executive officers. In 1988, Electronic Investors Corp. was merged into Benchmark, and in 1990 we completed the initial public offering of our common shares.
We are in the business of manufacturing electronics and we provide our services to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of computers and related products for business enterprises, medical devices, industrial control equipment, testing and instrumentation products, and telecommunication equipment. The services that we provide are commonly referred to as electronics manufacturing services (EMS). We offer our customers comprehensive and integrated design and manufacturing services, from initial product design to volume production and direct order fulfillment. We also provide specialized engineering services, including product design, printed circuit board layout, prototyping and test development. We believe that we have developed strengths in the manufacturing process for large, complex, high-density printed circuit boards as well as the ability to manufacture high and low volume products in lower cost regions such as Brazil, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Romania and Thailand.
As our customers expand internationally, they increasingly require their EMS partners to have strategic regional locations and global procurement capabilities. We believe that our global manufacturing presence increases our ability to be responsive to our customers needs by providing accelerated time-to-market and time-to-volume production of high quality products. These capabilities should enable us to build stronger strategic relationships with our customers and to become a more integral part of their operations. Our customers face challenges in planning, procuring and managing their inventories efficiently due to fluctuations in customer demand, product design changes, short product life cycles and component price fluctuations. We employ production management systems to manage their procurement and manufacturing processes in an efficient and cost-effective manner so that, where possible, components arrive on a just-in-time, as-and-when needed basis. We are a significant purchaser of electronic components and other raw materials, and can capitalize on the economies of scale associated with our relationships with suppliers to negotiate price discounts, obtain components and other raw materials that are in short supply, and return excess components. Our expertise in supply chain management and our relationships with suppliers across the supply chain enable us to reduce our customers cost of goods sold and inventory exposure.
We currently operate a total of 59 surface mount production lines (where electrical components are soldered directly onto printed circuit boards) at our domestic facilities and 85 surface mount production lines at our international facilities. Our worldwide facilities include 1.4 million square feet in our domestic facilities in Alabama, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon and Texas; and 1.3 million square feet in our international facilities in Brazil, China, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Romania, Singapore and Thailand.
Our capabilities have continued to grow through acquisitions and through internal expansion. In January 2007, we acquired Pemstar Inc. (Pemstar), a publicly traded EMS company headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota (the Merger). This acquisition expanded our customer base and added depth to our engineering and systems integration capabilities. Additionally, we expanded our relationships with certain customers during 2007 and added a new facility in Penang, Malaysia. With these acquisitions and expansions, our global operations now include 20 facilities in ten countries. We expanded our manufacturing capacity in Thailand with a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) facility in Korat in 2004 and a new systems integration facility in Ayudhaya in 2005.
We believe our primary competitive advantages are our design, manufacturing, testing and supply chain management capabilities. We offer our customers flexible manufacturing solutions throughout the life cycle of their products. These solutions provide accelerated time-to-market, time-to-volume production, and reduced production costs. As a result of working closely with our customers and responding promptly to their needs, we have become an integral part of their operations.
The EMS industry experienced rapid change and growth over most of the past decade as an increasing number of OEMs outsourced their manufacturing requirements. In mid-2001, the industrys revenue declined as a result of significant cut backs in its customers production requirements, which was consistent with the overall global economic downturn. Industry revenues began to stabilize in 2003. OEMs have continued to turn to outsourcing in order to reduce product cost; achieve accelerated time-to-market and time-to-volume production; access advanced design and manufacturing technologies; improve inventory management and purchasing power; and reduce their capital investment in manufacturing resources. This enables OEMs to concentrate on what they believe to be their core strengths, such as new product definition, marketing and sales. In addition, the number of industries serviced, as well as the market penetration in certain industries, by EMS providers has increased over the past three years. We believe further growth opportunities exist for EMS providers to penetrate the worldwide electronics markets.
Our goal is to be the EMS outsourcing provider of choice to leading OEMs in the electronics industry that we perceive from time to time to offer the greatest potential for growth. To meet this goal, we have implemented the following strategies:
· Maintain and Develop Close, Long-Term Relationships with Customers. Our core strategy is to maintain and establish long-term relationships with leading OEMs in expanding industries by becoming an integral part of our customers manufacturing operations. To accomplish this, we work closely with our customers throughout the design, manufacturing and distribution process, and we offer flexible and responsive services. We believe that we develop stronger customer relationships by relying on our local management teams that respond to frequently changing customer design specifications and production requirements.
· Focus on High-End Products in Growth Industries. EMS providers produce products for a wide range of OEMs in different industries, such as consumer electronics, Internet-focused businesses and information technology equipment. The product scope ranges from easy to assemble, low-cost high-volume products targeted for the consumer market to complicated state-of-the-art, mission critical electronic hardware targeted for military, medical and other high-end computer use. Similarly, OEMs customers range from consumer-oriented companies that compete primarily on price and redesign their products every year to manufacturers of high-end telecommunications equipment and computer and related products for business enterprises that compete on technology and quality. We currently offer state-of-the-art products for industry leaders who require specialized engineering design and production services, as well as high volume manufacturing capabilities to our customer base. Our ability to offer both of these types of services enables us to expand our business relationships.
· Deliver Complete High and Low Volume Manufacturing Solutions Globally. We believe OEMs are increasingly requiring a wide range of specialized engineering and manufacturing services from EMS providers in order to reduce costs and accelerate their time-to-market and time-to-volume production. Building on our integrated engineering and manufacturing capabilities, we offer services from initial product design and test to final product assembly and distribution to OEM customers. Our systems integration assembly and direct order fulfillment services allow our customers to reduce product cost and risk of product obsolescence by reducing their total work-in-process and finished goods inventory. These services are available at many of our manufacturing locations. We also offer our customers high volume production in low cost regions of the world, such as Brazil, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Romania and Thailand. These full service capabilities allow us to offer customers the flexibility to move quickly from design and initial product introduction to production and distribution. We offer our customers the opportunity to combine the benefits of low cost manufacturing (for the portions of their products or systems that can benefit from the use of these geographic areas) with the benefits and capabilities of our higher complexity support of systems integration in Asia, Europe or the United States.
· Leverage Advanced Technological Capabilities. In addition to traditional strengths in manufacturing large, complex high-density printed circuit boards we offer customers advanced design, technology and manufacturing solutions for their primary products. We provide this engineering expertise through our design capabilities in each of our facilities, and in our design centers. We believe our capabilities help our customers improve product performance and reduce costs.
· Continue to Seek Cost Savings and Efficiency Improvements. We seek to optimize our facilities to provide cost-efficient services for our customers. We provide operations in lower cost locations, including Brazil, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Romania and Thailand, and we continue to expand our presence in these lower cost locations to meet the needs of our customers.
· Continue Our Global Expansion. A network of strategically positioned facilities can reduce costs, simplify and shorten an OEMs supply chain and thus reduce the time it takes to bring product to market. We are committed to geographic expansion in order to support our customers with cost-effective and timely delivery of quality products and services worldwide. Our acquisition of facilities in Malaysia, Romania and the Netherlands has expanded our service scope to provide a global manufacturing solution to our customers through our 20 facilities in ten countries located in Brazil, China, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.
· Pursue Strategic Acquisitions. Our capabilities have continued to grow through acquisitions and we will continue to selectively seek acquisition opportunities. Our acquisitions, including the Pemstar acquisition, have enhanced our business in the following ways:
· expanded geographic presence;
· enhanced customer growth opportunities;
· developed strategic relationships;
· broadened service offerings;
· diversified into new market sectors; and
· added experienced management teams.
We believe that growth by selective acquisitions is critical for achieving the scale, flexibility and breadth of customer services required to remain competitive in the EMS industry.
Services We Provide
We offer a wide range of engineering, automation, test, manufacturing and fulfillment solutions that support our customers products from initial design through prototyping, design validation, testing, ramp to volume production, worldwide distribution and aftermarket support. We support all of our service offerings with supply chain management systems, superior quality program management and sophisticated information technology systems. Our comprehensive service offerings enable us to provide a complete solution for our customers outsourcing requirements.
Our approach is to coordinate and integrate our design, prototype and other engineering capabilities. Through this approach, we provide a broad range of engineering services and, in some cases, dedicated production lines for prototypes. These services strengthen our relationships with manufacturing customers and attract new customers requiring specialized engineering services.
· New Product Design, Prototype, Test and Related Engineering Solutions. We offer a full spectrum of new product design, prototype, test and related engineering solutions. Our concurrent engineering approach shortens product development cycles and gives our customers a competitive advantage in time-to-market and time-to-profit. Our multi-disciplined engineering teams provide expertise in a number of core competencies critical to serving OEMs in our target markets, including award-winning industrial design, mechanical and electrical hardware, firmware, software and systems integration and support. We create specifications, designs and quick-turn prototypes, and validate and ramp our customers products into high volume manufacturing. Our technical expertise includes electronic circuit design for analog, digital, radio frequency, microwave and mixed signal technology, as well as Microsoft and Intel design capabilities.
· Custom Test and Automation Equipment Design and Build Solutions. We provide our customers with a comprehensive range of custom automated test equipment, functional test equipment, process automation and replication solutions. We have expertise in tooling, testers, equipment control, systems planning, automation, floor control, systems integration, replication and programming. Our custom functional test equipment, process automation and replication solutions are available to our customers as part of our full service product design and manufacturing solutions package or on a stand-alone basis for products designed and manufactured elsewhere. We also provide custom test equipment and automation system solutions to OEMs. Our ability to provide these solutions allows us to capitalize on OEMs increasing needs for custom manufacturing solutions and provides an additional opportunity for us to introduce these customers to our comprehensive engineering and manufacturing services.
Manufacturing and Fulfillment Solutions
As OEMs seek to provide greater functionality in smaller products, they increasingly require more sophisticated manufacturing technologies and processes. Our investment in advanced manufacturing equipment and our experience in innovative packaging and interconnect technologies enable us to offer a variety of advanced manufacturing solutions. These packaging and interconnect technologies include:
· Printed Circuit Board Assembly & Test. We offer a wide range of printed circuit board assembly and test solutions, including printed circuit board assembly, assembly of subsystems, circuitry and functionality testing of printed assemblies, environmental and stress testing and component reliability testing.
· Flex Circuit Assembly & Test. We provide our customers with a wide range of flex circuit assembly and test solutions. We utilize specialized tooling strategies and advanced automation procedures to minimize circuit handling and ensure that consistent processing parameters are maintained throughout the assembly process.
· Systems Assembly & Test. We work with our customers to develop product-specific test strategies. Our test capabilities include manufacturing defect analysis, in-circuit tests to test the circuitry of the board and functional tests to confirm that the board or assembly operates in accordance with its final design and manufacturing specifications. We either custom design test equipment and software ourselves or use test equipment and software provided by our customers. In addition, we provide environmental stress tests of assemblies of boards or systems.
We also have expertise in advanced precision and electromechanical technologies and optical manufacturing services. In order to meet our customers demand for systems assembly and test solutions, we offer subassembly build, final assembly, functionality testing, configuration and software installation and final packaging services.
Precision Electromechanical Assembly and Test. We offer a full spectrum of precision subsystem and system integration services. These services include assembly, configuration and test of complex computers and related products for business enterprises, medical devices, industrial control equipment, testing and instrumentation products, and telecommunication equipment. We design, develop and build product specific manufacturing processes utilizing manual, mechanized or fully automated lines to meet our customers product volume and quality requirements. All of our assembly and test processes are developed according to customer specifications and replicated within our facilities. Product life cycle testing services are provided such as Ongoing Reliability Testing where units are continuously cycled for extended testing while monitoring for early life failures.
Direct Order Fulfillment. We provide direct order fulfillment for certain of our OEM customers. Direct order fulfillment involves receiving customer orders, configuring products to quickly fill the orders and delivering the products either to the OEM, a distribution channel or directly to the end customer. We manage our direct order fulfillment processes using a core set of common systems and processes that receive order information from the customer and provide comprehensive supply chain management, including procurement and production planning. These systems and processes enable us to process orders for multiple system configurations, and varying production quantities, including single units. Our direct order fulfillment services include build-to-order (BTO) and configure-to-order (CTO) capabilities. BTO involves building a system having the particular configuration ordered by the OEM customer. CTO involves configuring systems to an end customers order. The end customer typically places this order by choosing from a variety of possible system configurations and options. We are capable of meeting a 20 to 48 hour turn-around-time for BTO and CTO. We support our direct order fulfillment services with logistics that include delivery of parts and assemblies to the final assembly site, distribution and shipment of finished systems, and processing of customer returns.
Aftermarket Non-Warranty Services. We provide our customers with a range of aftermarket non-warranty services, including repair, replacement, refurbishment, remanufacturing, exchange, systems upgrade and spare part manufacturing throughout a products life cycle. These services are tracked and supported by specific information technology systems that can be tailored to meet our customers individual requirements.
Value-Added Support Systems. We support our engineering, manufacturing, distribution and aftermarket support services with an efficient supply chain management system and a superior quality management program. All of our value-added support services are implemented and managed through web-based information technology systems that enable us to collaborate with our customers throughout all stages of the engineering, manufacturing and order fulfillment processes.
Supply Chain Management. Our inventory management and volume procurement capabilities contribute to cost reductions and reduce total cycle time. Our materials strategy is focused on leveraging our procurement volume company wide while providing local execution for maximum flexibility at the division level. In addition, our systems integration facilities have developed material processes required to support system integration operations.
We utilize a full complement of electronic data interchange transactions with our suppliers to coordinate forecasts, orders, reschedules, inventory and component lead times. Our enterprise resource planning systems provide product and production information to our supply chain management, engineering change management and floor control systems. Our information systems also control serialization, production and quality data for all of our facilities around the world utilizing state-of-the-art statistical process control techniques for continuous process improvements. To enhance our ability to rapidly respond to changes in our customers requirements by effectively managing changes in our supply chain, we utilize web-based interfaces and real-time supply chain management software products from Kinaxis Inc. Kinaxis allows for scaling operations to meet customer needs, shifting capacity in response to product demand fluctuations, reducing materials costs and effectively distributing products to our customers or their end-customers.
Manufacturing Technologies. We offer our customers expertise in a wide variety of traditional and advanced manufacturing technologies. Our technical expertise supports standard printed circuit board assembly as well as complex products that require advanced engineering skills and equipment.
We also provide our customers with a comprehensive set of manufacturing technologies and solutions which include:
· Pin Thru Hole,
· Surface Mount Technology,
· Fine Pitch,
· Ball Grid Array,
· Flip Chip,
· Chip On Board/Wirebonding,
· In-Circuit Test,
· Board Level Functional Test, and
· Stress Testing.
We also provide specialized solutions in support of Optical and Wireless components and systems which include:
· Conformal Coating,
· Laser Welding,
· Hybrid Optical/Electrical Printed Circuit Board Assembly and Test, and
· Sub-micron Alignment of Optical Sub-Assemblies.
Through our Component Engineering Services, we are helping our customers deal with the changing international environmental regulations such as the European Union (EU) Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic Equipment (RoHS). Manufacturing sites in the Americas, Asia and European regions are certified in both water soluble and no-clean processes and are currently producing products that are RoHS compliant.
Marketing and Customers
We market our services through a direct sales force and independent marketing representatives. In addition, our divisional and executive management teams are an integral part of our sales and marketing teams. We generally enter into supply arrangements with our customers. These arrangements, similar to purchase orders, generally govern the conduct of business between our customer and ourselves relating to, among other things, the manufacture of products which in many cases were previously produced by the customer itself. Such arrangements generally identify the specific products to be manufactured, quality and production requirements, product pricing and materials management. There can be no assurance that at any time these arrangements will remain in effect or be renewed.
Our key customer accounts are supported by a dedicated team, including a global account manager who is directly responsible for account management. Global account managers coordinate activities across divisions to effectively satisfy customer requirements and have direct access to our executive management to quickly address customer concerns. Local customer account teams further support the global teams and are linked by a comprehensive communications and information management infrastructure. In addition, our executive management, including our chief executive officer, Cary Fu, and our president, Gayla Delly, are heavily involved in customer relations and devote significant attention to broadening existing, and developing new, customer relationships.
The following table sets forth the percentages of our sales by industry for 2007, 2006 and 2005.
A substantial percentage of our sales have been made to a small number of customers, and the loss of a major customer, if not replaced, would adversely affect us. Sales to our largest customer, Sun Microsystems, Inc., represented 22% of our sales during 2007 compared to 39% of our sales in 2006. Our future sales are dependent on the success of our customers, some of which operate in businesses associated with rapid technological change and consequent product obsolescence. Developments adverse to our major customers or their products, or the failure of a major customer to pay for components or services, could have an adverse effect on us.
We maintain a network of suppliers of components and other materials used in our operations. We procure components when a purchase order or forecast is received from a customer and occasionally utilize components or other materials for which a supplier is the single source of supply. If any of these single source suppliers were to be unable to provide these materials, a shortage of these components could temporarily interrupt our operations and lower our profits until such time as an alternate component could be identified and qualified for use. Although we experience component shortages and longer lead times for various components from time to time, we have generally been able to reduce the impact of the component shortages by working with customers to reschedule deliveries, by working with suppliers to provide the needed components using just-in-time inventory programs, or by purchasing components at somewhat higher prices from distributors, rather than directly from manufacturers. In addition, by developing long-term relationships with suppliers, we have been better able to minimize the effects of component shortages compared to manufacturers without such relationships. These procedures reduce, but do not eliminate, our inventory risk.
We had sales backlog of approximately $1.7 billion at December 31, 2007, as compared to the 2006 year-end backlog of $1.9 billion. Backlog consists of purchase orders received, including, in some instances, forecast requirements released for production under customer contracts. Although we expect to fill substantially all of our year-end backlog during 2008, we currently do not have long-term agreements with all of our customers and customer orders can be canceled, changed or delayed by customers. The timely replacement of canceled, changed or delayed orders with orders from new customers cannot be assured, nor can there be any assurance that any of our current customers will continue to utilize our services. Because of these factors, our backlog is not a meaningful indicator of future financial results.
The electronics manufacturing services we provide are available from many independent sources as well as from the in-house manufacturing capabilities of current and potential customers. Our competitors include Celestica Inc., Flextronics International Ltd. (which recently acquired Solectron Corporation), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., Jabil Circuit, Inc., and Sanmina-SCI Corporation, who may be more established in the industry and have substantially greater financial, manufacturing or marketing resources than we do. We believe that the principal competitive factors in our targeted markets are engineering capabilities, product quality, flexibility, cost and timeliness in responding to design and schedule changes, reliability in meeting product delivery schedules, pricing, technological sophistication and geographic location.
In addition, in recent years, original design manufacturers (ODMs) that provide design and manufacturing services to OEMs have significantly increased their share of outsourced manufacturing services provided to OEMs in markets such as notebook and desktop computers, personal computer motherboards, and consumer electronic products. Competition from ODMs may increase if our business in these markets grows or if ODMs expand further into or beyond these markets.
Our operations, and the operations of businesses that we acquire, are subject to certain foreign, federal, state and local regulatory requirements relating to security clearance, environmental, waste management, and health and safety matters. We believe we operate in substantial compliance with all applicable requirements. However, material costs and liabilities may arise from these requirements or from new, modified or more stringent requirements, which could affect our earnings and competitive position. In addition, our past, current and future operations, and those of businesses we acquire, may give rise to claims of exposure by employees or the public or to other claims or liabilities relating to environmental, waste management or health and safety concerns.
We periodically generate and temporarily handle limited amounts of materials that are considered hazardous waste under applicable law. We contract for the off-site disposal of these materials and have implemented a waste management program to address related regulatory issues.
As of December 31, 2007, we employed 10,920 people, of whom 7,852 were engaged in manufacturing and operations, 1,348 in materials control and procurement, 853 in design and development, 285 in marketing and sales, and 582 in administration. None of our domestic employees are represented by a labor union. In certain international locations, our employees are represented by labor unions and by works councils. Some European countries also often have mandatory legal provisions regarding terms of employment, severance compensation and other conditions of employment that are more restrictive than U.S. laws. We have never experienced a strike or similar work stoppage and we believe that our employee relations are satisfactory.
Segments and International Operations
Benchmark has 20 manufacturing facilities in the Americas, Asia and Europe regions to serve its customers. Benchmark is operated and managed geographically and management evaluates performance and allocates Benchmarks resources on a geographic basis. We currently operate outside the United States in Brazil, China, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Romania, Singapore and Thailand. During 2007 and 2006, 43% and 37%, respectively, of our sales were from our international operations. As a result of customer demand overseas, we expect foreign sales to continue to increase. Our foreign sales and operations are subject to risk of doing business abroad, including fluctuations in the value of currency, export duties, import controls and trade barriers, including stoppages, longer payment cycles, greater difficulty in accounts receivable collection, burdens of complying with a wide variety of foreign laws and, in certain parts of the world, political instability. While, to date, these factors have not had a material adverse effect on Benchmarks results of operations, we can make no assurances that there will not be an adverse impact in the future. See Note 9 and Note 13 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report for segment and geographical information.
Our internet address is http://www.bench.com. We make available free of charge through our internet website our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our annual reports on Form 10K, quarterly reports on Form 10Q, current reports on Form 8K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after electronically filing such material with, or furnishing it to, the SEC. All reports we file with the SEC are also available free of charge via EDGAR through the SECs website at http://www.sec.gov or to read and copy at the SEC Public Reference Room located at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. You can obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by called the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.
The loss of a major customer would adversely affect us.
A substantial percentage of our sales have been made to a small number of customers, and the loss of a major customer, if not replaced, would adversely affect us. During 2007, our largest customer represented 22% of our sales. Our future sales are dependent on the success of our customers, some of which operate in businesses associated with rapid technological change and consequent product obsolescence. Developments adverse to our major customers or their products, or the failure of a major customer to pay for components or services, could have an adverse effect on us.
We expect to continue to depend on the sales from our largest customer and any material delay, cancellation or reduction of orders from this customer or other significant customers would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. In addition, we generate significant accounts receivables in connection with providing manufacturing services to our customers. If one or more of our customers were to become insolvent or otherwise unable to pay for the manufacturing services provided by us, our operating results and financial condition would be adversely affected.
We are dependent on the success of our customers.
We are dependent on the continued growth, viability and financial stability of our customers. Our customers are OEMs of:
· computers and related products for business enterprises;
· medical devices;
· industrial control equipment;
· testing and instrumentation products; and
· telecommunication equipment.
Often, these industries are subject to rapid technological change, vigorous competition and short product life cycles. When our customers are adversely affected by these factors, we may be similarly affected.
We operate in a highly competitive industry.
We compete against many providers of electronics manufacturing services. Certain of our competitors have substantially greater resources and more geographically diversified international operations than we do. Our competitors include large independent manufacturers such as Celestica Inc., Flextronics International Ltd. (which recently acquired Solectron Corporation), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., Jabil Circuit, Inc. and Sanmina-SCI Corporation. In addition, we may in the future encounter competition from other large electronic manufacturers that are selling, or may begin to sell, electronics manufacturing services.
We also face competition from the manufacturing operations of our current and future customers, who are continually evaluating the merits of manufacturing products internally against the advantages of outsourcing to electronics manufacturing services providers. In addition, in recent years, ODMs that provide design and manufacturing services to OEMs, have significantly increased their share of outsourced manufacturing services provided to OEMs in several markets, such as notebook and desktop computers, personal computer motherboards, and consumer electronic products. Competition from ODMs may increase if our business in these markets grows or if ODMs expand further into or beyond these markets.
During periods of recession in the electronics industry, our competitive advantages in the areas of quick turnaround manufacturing and responsive customer service may be of reduced importance to electronics OEMs, who may become more price sensitive. We may also be at a competitive disadvantage with respect to price when compared to manufacturers with lower cost structures, particularly those with more offshore facilities located where labor and other costs are lower.
We experience intense competition, which can intensify further as more companies enter the markets in which we operate, as existing competitors expand capacity and as the industry consolidates. The availability of excess manufacturing capacity at many of our competitors creates intense pricing and competitive pressure on the EMS industry as a whole and Benchmark in particular. To compete effectively, we must continue to provide technologically advanced manufacturing services, maintain strict quality standards, respond flexibly and rapidly to customers design and schedule changes and deliver products globally on a reliable basis at competitive prices. Our inability to do so could have an adverse effect on us.
The integration of acquired operations may pose difficulties for us.
Our capabilities have continued to grow through acquisitions and we may pursue additional acquisitions over time. These acquisitions involve risks, including:
· integration and management of the operations;
· retention of key personnel;
· integration of purchasing operations and information systems;
· retention of the customer base of acquired businesses;
· management of an increasingly larger and more geographically disparate business; and
· diversion of managements attention from other ongoing business concerns.
Our profitability will suffer if we are unable to successfully integrate any acquisition and manage any future acquisitions that we might pursue, or if we do not achieve sufficient revenue to offset the increased expenses associated with these acquisitions.
We may experience fluctuations in quarterly results.
Our quarterly results may vary significantly depending on various factors, many of which are beyond our control. These factors include:
· the volume of customer orders relative to our capacity;
· customer introduction and market acceptance of new products;
· changes in demand for customer products;
· pricing and other competitive pressures;
· the timing of our expenditures in anticipation of future orders;
· our effectiveness in managing manufacturing processes;
· changes in cost and availability of labor and components;
· changes in our product mix;
· changes in economic conditions; and
· local factors and events that may affect our production volume, such as local holidays.
Additionally, as is the case with many high technology companies, a significant portion of our shipments typically occurs in the last few weeks of a quarter. As a result, our sales may shift from one quarter to the next, having a significant effect on reported results.
Our investments in auction rate securities are subject to risks which may cause losses and affect the liquidity of these investments.
As of February 27, 2008, we held $95.4 million of auction rate securities, classified as short-term investments, whose underlying assets were in guaranteed student loans backed by a U. S. Government agency and municipal issue bonds. These investments are of a high credit quality with AAA type credit ratings because of the government agency guarantee and other insurers. Auction rate securities are adjustable rate debt instruments whose interest rates are reset every 7 to 35 days through an auction process, with underlying securities that have original contractual maturities greater than 10 years. Auctions for some of our investments have failed in 2008 and there is no assurance that auctions on the remaining auction rate securities in our investment portfolio will continue to succeed. An auction failure means that the parties wishing to sell their securities could not do so. As a result, our ability to liquidate and fully recover the carrying value of our adjustable rate securities in the near term may be limited or not exist. These developments may result in the classification of some or all of these securities as long-term investments in our consolidated financial statements. If the issuers of these adjustable rate securities are unable to successfully close future auctions or their credit quality deteriorates, we may in the future be required to record an impairment charge on these investments. We may be required to wait until market stability is restored for these instruments or until the final maturity of the underlying notes (up to 40 years) to realize our investments recorded value.
Most of our customers do not commit to long-term production schedules, which makes it difficult for us to schedule production and achieve maximum efficiency of our manufacturing capacity.
The volume and timing of sales to our customers may vary due to:
· variation in demand for our customers products;
· our customers attempts to manage their inventory;
· electronic design changes;
· changes in our customers manufacturing strategy; and
· acquisitions of or consolidations among customers.
Due in part to these factors, most of our customers do not commit to firm production schedules for more than one quarter in advance. Our inability to forecast the level of customer orders with certainty makes it difficult to schedule production and maximize utilization of manufacturing capacity. In the past, we have been required to increase staffing and other expenses in order to meet the anticipated demand of our customers. Anticipated orders from many of our customers have, in the past, failed to materialize or delivery schedules have been deferred as a result of changes in our customers business needs, thereby adversely affecting our results of operations. On other occasions, our customers have required rapid increases in production, which have placed an excessive burden on our resources. Such customer order fluctuations and deferrals have had a material adverse effect on us in the past, and we may experience such effects in the future. A business downturn resulting from any of these external factors could have a material adverse effect on our operating income.
Our customers may cancel their orders, change production quantities, delay production or change their sourcing strategy.
EMS providers must provide increasingly rapid product turnaround for their customers. We generally do not obtain firm, long-term purchase commitments from our customers and we continue to experience reduced lead-times in customer orders. Customers may cancel their orders, change production quantities, delay production or change their sourcing strategy for a number of reasons. The success of our customers products in the market affects our business. Cancellations, reductions, delays or changes in their sourcing strategy by a significant customer or by a group of customers could negatively impact our operating income.
In addition, we make significant decisions, including determining the levels of business that we will seek and accept, production schedules, component procurement commitments, personnel needs and other resource requirements, based on our estimate of customer requirements. The short-term nature of our customers commitments and the possibility of rapid changes in demand for their products reduces our ability to accurately estimate the future requirements of those customers.
On occasion, customers may require rapid increases in production, which can stress our resources and reduce operating margins. In addition, because many of our costs and operating expenses are relatively fixed, a reduction in customer demand can harm our gross profits and operating results.
Start-up costs and inefficiencies related to new or transferred programs can adversely affect our operating results and such costs may not be recoverable if such new programs or transferred programs are cancelled.
Start-up costs, the management of labor and equipment resources in connection with the establishment of new programs and new customer relationships, and the need to estimate required resources in advance can adversely affect our gross margins and operating results. These factors are particularly evident in the early stages of the life cycle of new products and new programs or program transfers and in the opening of new facilities. These factors also affect our ability to efficiently use labor and equipment. We are currently managing a number of new programs and are expanding our capacity in Suzhou, China. Consequently, our exposure to these factors has increased. In addition, if any of these new programs or new customer relationships were terminated, our operating results could be harmed, particularly in the short term. We may not be able to recoup these start-up costs or replace anticipated new program revenues.
Complications with the implementation of our information systems could disrupt our operations and cause unanticipated increases in our costs.
We have completed the installation of an Enterprise Resource Planning system in many of our manufacturing sites and in our corporate location. Complications with the implementation of these information systems in the remaining plants to replace the existing Manufacturing Resource Planning systems and financial information systems used by these sites could result in material adverse consequences, including disruption of operations, loss of information and unanticipated increases in cost.
We are exposed to general economic conditions, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results and financial condition.
Our business is cyclical and has experienced economic and industry downturns. If the economic conditions and demand for our customers products deteriorate, we may experience a material adverse impact on our business, operating results and financial condition.
In cases where the evidence suggests a customer may not be able to satisfy its obligation to us, we set up reserves in an amount we determine appropriate for the perceived risk. There can be no assurance that our reserves will be adequate to meet this risk. If the financial condition of our customers were to deteriorate, resulting in an impairment of their ability to make payments, additional receivable and inventory reserves may be required.
We may encounter significant delays or defaults in payments owed to us by customers for products we have manufactured or components that are unique to particular customers.
We structure our agreements with customers to mitigate our risks related to obsolete or unsold inventory. However, enforcement of these contracts may result in material expense and delay in payment for inventory. If any of our significant customers become unable or unwilling to purchase such inventory, our business may be materially harmed.
We may be affected by consolidation in the electronics industry.
As a result of the current economic climate, consolidation in the electronics industry has increased. Consolidation in the electronics industry could result in an increase in excess manufacturing capacity as companies seek to close plants or take other steps to increase efficiencies and realize synergies of mergers. The availability of excess manufacturing capacity could create increased pricing and competitive pressures for the electronics manufacturing services industry as a whole and our business in particular. In addition, consolidation could also result in an increasing number of very large electronics companies offering products in multiple sectors of the electronics industry. The growth of these large companies, with significant purchasing and marketing power, could also result in increased pricing and competitive pressures for us. Accordingly, industry consolidation could harm our business.
We are subject to the risk of increased taxes.
We base our tax position upon the anticipated nature and conduct of our business and upon our understanding of the tax laws of the various countries in which we have assets or conduct activities. Our tax position, however, is subject to review and possible challenge by taxing authorities and to possible changes in law. We cannot determine in advance the extent to which some jurisdictions may assess additional tax or interest and penalties on such additional taxes.
Several countries in which we are located allow for tax holidays or provide other tax incentives to attract and retain business. We have obtained holidays or other incentives where available. Our taxes could increase if certain tax holidays or incentives are retracted, or if they are not renewed upon expiration, or tax rates applicable to us in such jurisdictions are otherwise increased. In addition, further acquisitions may cause our effective tax rate to increase.
We are exposed to intangible asset risk.
We have recorded intangible assets, including goodwill, in connection with business acquisitions. We are required to perform goodwill and intangible asset impairment tests at least on an annual basis and whenever events or circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable from estimated future cash flows. As a result of our annual and other periodic evaluations, we may determine that the intangible asset values need to be written down to their fair values, which could result in material charges that could be adverse to our operating results and financial position.
There are inherent uncertainties involved in estimates, judgments and assumptions used in the preparation of financial statements in accordance with US GAAP. Any changes in estimates, judgments and assumptions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations.
The consolidated financial statements included in the periodic reports we file with the SEC are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (US GAAP). The preparation of financial statements in accordance with US GAAP involves making estimates, judgments and assumptions that affect reported amounts of assets (including intangible assets), liabilities and related reserves, revenues, expenses and income. Estimates, judgments and assumptions are inherently subject to change in the future, and any such changes could result in corresponding changes to the amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses and income. Any such changes could have a material adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations.
Our international operations may be subject to certain risks.
We currently operate outside the United States in Brazil, China, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Romania, Singapore and Thailand. During 2007, 2006 and 2005, 43%, 37% and 35%, respectively, of our sales were from our international operations. These international operations may be subject to a number of risks, including:
· difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations;
· political and economic instability;
· unexpected changes in regulatory requirements and laws;
· longer customer payment cycles and difficulty collecting accounts receivable;
· export duties, import controls and trade barriers (including quotas);
· governmental restrictions on the transfer of funds;
· burdens of complying with a wide variety of foreign laws and labor practices;
· fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which could affect component costs, local payroll, utility and other expenses; and
· inability to utilize net operating losses incurred by our foreign operations to reduce our U.S. income taxes.
In addition, several of the countries where we operate have emerging or developing economies, which may be subject to greater currency volatility, negative growth, high inflation, limited availability of foreign exchange and other risks. These factors may harm our results of operations, and any measures that we may implement to reduce the effect of volatile currencies and other risks of our international operations may not be effective. In our experience, entry into new international markets requires considerable management time as well as start-up expenses for market development, hiring and establishing office facilities before any significant revenues are generated. As a result, initial operations in a new market may operate at low margins or may be unprofitable.
We are involved in various legal proceedings.
In the past, we have been notified of claims relating to various matters including intellectual property rights, contractual matters or other issues arising in the ordinary course of business. In the event of such a claim, we may be required to spend a significant amount of money to defend or otherwise address the claim. Any litigation, even where a claim is without merit, could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources. Accordingly, the resolution or adjudication of such disputes, even those encountered in the ordinary course of business, could have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated financial conditions and results of operations. See Note 15 to the consolidated financial statements in Item 8 of this report.
Our success will continue to depend to a significant extent on our executives.
We depend significantly on certain key executives, including, but not limited to, Cary T. Fu, Donald F. Adam and Gayla J. Delly. The unexpected loss of the services of any one of these executive officers would have an adverse effect on us.
We must maintain our technological and manufacturing process expertise.
The market for our manufacturing services is characterized by rapidly changing technology and continuing process development. We are continually evaluating the advantages and feasibility of new manufacturing processes. We believe that our future success will depend upon our ability to develop and provide manufacturing services which meet our customers changing needs. This requires that we maintain technological leadership and successfully anticipate or respond to technological changes in manufacturing processes on a cost-effective and timely basis. Our failure to maintain our technological and manufacturing process expertise could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Environmental laws may expose us to financial liability and restrictions on operations.
We are subject to a variety of federal, state, local and foreign environmental laws and regulations relating to environmental, waste management, and health and safety concerns, including the handling, storage, discharge and disposal of hazardous materials used in or derived from our manufacturing processes. If we or companies we acquire have failed or fail in the future to comply with such laws and regulations, then we could incur liabilities and fines and our operations could be suspended. Such laws and regulations could also restrict our ability to modify or expand our facilities, could require us to acquire costly equipment, or could impose other significant expenditures. In addition, our operations may give rise to claims of property contamination or human exposure to hazardous chemicals or conditions.
Shortages or price increases of components specified by our customers would delay shipments and adversely affect our profitability.
Substantially all of our sales are derived from electronics manufacturing services in which we purchase components specified by our customers. In the past, supply shortages have substantially curtailed production of all assemblies using a particular component. In addition, industry-wide shortages of electronic components, particularly of memory and logic devices, have occurred. If shortages of these components occur or if components received are defective, we may be forced to delay shipments, which could have an adverse effect on our profit margins. Because of the continued increase in demand for surface mount components, we anticipate component shortages and longer lead times for certain components to occur from time to time. Also, we typically bear the risk of component price increases that occur between periodic repricings during the term of a customer contract. Accordingly, certain component price increases could adversely affect our gross profit margins.
Our stock price is volatile.
Our common shares have experienced significant price volatility, and such volatility may continue in the future. The price of our common shares could fluctuate widely in response to a range of factors, including variations in our reported financial results and changing conditions in the economy in general or in our industry in particular. In addition, stock markets generally experience significant price and volume volatility from time to time which may affect the market price of our common shares for reasons unrelated to our performance.
Provisions in our shareholder rights plan, our charter documents and state law may make it harder for others to obtain control of our company even though some shareholders might consider such a development to be favorable.
Our shareholder rights plan, provisions of our amended and restated articles of incorporation and the Texas Business Corporation Act may delay, inhibit or prevent someone from gaining control of our company through a tender offer, business combination, proxy contest or some other method. These provisions include:
· a poison pill shareholder rights plan;
· a statutory restriction on the ability of shareholders to take action by less than unanimous written consent; and
· a statutory restriction on business combinations with some types of interested shareholders.
Impact of Governmental Regulation
Our worldwide operations are subject to local laws and regulations. Of particular note at this time are two EU directives, the RoHS directive and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive. These directives restrict the distribution of products within the EU containing certain substances, including lead, and require a manufacturer or importer to recycle products containing those substances. In addition, China has recently passed the Management Methods for Controlling Pollution by Electronic Information Products, which will eventually prohibit the import of products for use in China that contain substances similar to those banned by the RoHS directive.
Both directives affect the worldwide electronics, and electronics components, industries as a whole. If we or our customers fail to comply with such laws and regulations, then we could incur liabilities and fines and our operations could be suspended.
In addition, as global warming issues become more prevalent, the U.S. and foreign governments are beginning to respond to these issues. This increasing governmental focus on global warming may result in new environmental regulations that may negatively affect us, our suppliers and our customers. This could cause us to incur additional direct costs in complying with any new environmental regulations, as well as increased indirect costs resulting from our customers, suppliers or both incurring additional compliance costs that get passed on to us. These costs may adversely impact our operations and financial condition.
Our business may be impacted by geopolitical events.
As a global business, we operate and have customers located in many countries. Geopolitical events such as terrorist acts may effect the overall economic environment and negatively impact the demand for our customers products. As a result, customer orders may be lower and our financial results may be adversely affected.
Our business may be impacted by natural disasters.
Some of our facilities, including our corporate headquarters, are located in areas which may be impacted by hurricanes, earthquakes, water shortages, tsunamis, floods, typhoons, fires, extreme weather conditions and other natural or manmade disasters. Our insurance coverage with respect to natural disasters is limited and is subject to deductibles and coverage limits. Such coverage may not be adequate, or may not continue to be available at commercially reasonable rates and terms.
We may be exposed to interest rate fluctuations.
We will have exposure to interest rate risk under our variable rate revolving credit facilities to the extent we incur indebtedness under such facilities. These facilities interest rates are based on the spread over the banks Eurodollar rate or its prime rate.
Changes in financial accounting standards or policies have affected, and in the future may affect, our reported financial condition or results of operations. Additionally, changes in securities laws and regulations have increased, and are likely to continue to increase, our operating costs.
We prepare our financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP. These principles are subject to interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the SEC and various bodies formed to interpret and create appropriate accounting policies. A change in those policies can have a significant effect on our reported results and may affect our reporting of transactions which are completed before a change is announced.
Accounting policies affecting many other aspects of our business, including rules relating to revenue recognition, off-balance sheet transactions, stock-based compensation, restructurings, asset disposals and asset retirement obligations, intangible assets, derivative and other financial instruments, have recently been revised or are under review. Changes to those rules or the questioning of how we interpret or implement those rules may have a material adverse effect on our reported financial results or on the way we conduct business.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 required changes in our corporate governance, public disclosure and compliance practices. The number of rules and regulations applicable to us has increased and will continue to increase our legal and financial compliance costs. These developments could make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our board of directors, particularly to serve on our audit committee, and qualified executive officers. In addition, in connection with our Section 404 certification process, we may identify from time to time deficiencies in our internal controls. Any material weakness or deficiency in our internal controls over financial reporting could materially and negatively impact our reported financial results and the market price of our stock could significantly decline. Additionally, adverse publicity related to the disclosure of a material weakness or deficiency in internal controls over financial reporting could have a negative impact on our reputation, business and stock price.
Our customers market numerous products throughout the world and therefore need to access manufacturing services on a global basis. To enhance our EMS offerings, we seek to locate our facilities either near our customers and our customers end markets in major centers for the electronics industry or, where appropriate, in lower cost locations. Many of our plants located near customers and their end markets are focused primarily on final system assembly and test, while plants located in lower cost areas are engaged primarily in less complex component and subsystem manufacturing and assembly.
The following chart summarizes our principal manufacturing facilities owned or leased by Benchmark and its subsidiaries:
We lease other facilities in the U.S. with a total of 46,000 sq. ft. that house individuals that provide engineering services. We also own facilities with a total of 396,000 sq. ft. and lease facilities with a total of 246,000 sq. ft. that are currently not in operation. These facilities are both in the U.S. and abroad.
We are involved in various legal actions arising in the ordinary course of business. In the opinion of management, the ultimate disposition of these matters will not have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position or results of operations.
The following legal proceeding was acquired in the Merger and is considered outside the ordinary course of business. On June 16, 2005 a putative class action was filed by an individual shareholder against Pemstar and certain of its officers and directors. The lawsuit was brought in the United States District Court for the District Court of Minnesota and is captioned: In re PEMSTAR INC. Securities Litigation, Civil Action No. 05-CV-01182 JMR/FLN. The lawsuit alleged violations of Section 10(b) and Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933. The plaintiff alleged, in essence, that the defendants defrauded Pemstars shareholders by failing to timely disclose the circumstances around the discrepancies in the accounting of the Mexico facility that generated a restatement. The lawsuit also alleged that the registration statement filed by Pemstar in connection with a secondary offering contained false, material misrepresentations. The plaintiff sought to represent a class of persons who purchased Pemstar stock from January 30, 2003 through and including January 12, 2005. The parties reached a settlement which was approved by the court on November 15, 2007. The settlement amount, less our retention, was paid from Pemstars director and officer insurance policy.
No matters were submitted to a vote of security holders during the fourth quarter of 2007.
Our common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BHE. The following table shows the high and low sales prices for our common shares as reported on the New York Stock Exchange for the quarters (or portions thereof) indicated.
The last reported sale price of our common shares on February 27, 2008, as reported by the New York Stock Exchange, was $18.42. There were approximately 900 record holders of our common shares as of February 27, 2008.
We have not paid any cash dividends on our common shares in the past. In addition, our credit facility includes restrictions on the amount of dividends we may pay to shareholders.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table provides information about the Companys repurchases of its equity securities that are registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act during the quarter ended December 31, 2007, at a total cost of $50.5 million:
(1) All share repurchases were made on the open market.
(2) Average price paid per share is calculated on a settlement basis and excludes commission.
(3) On July 25, 2007, the Board of Directors of the Company approved the repurchase of up to $125 million of the Companys outstanding common shares. During the period from October 1 to December 31, 2007, the Company repurchased a total of 2,492,908 common shares for $50.5 million at an average price of $20.25 per share. During the period from July 25, 2007 to December 31, 2007, we repurchased a total of 2,602,008 common shares for $53.0 million at an average price of $20.33 per share. All share purchases have been made in the open market and the shares repurchased through December 31, 2007 have been retired. Share purchases may be made in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions or block transactions, at the discretion of the Companys management and as market conditions warrant. Purchases will be funded from available cash and may be commenced, suspended or discontinued at any time without prior notice. Shares repurchased under the program will be retired.
The following Performance Graph compares the cumulative total shareholder return on our common shares for the five-year period commencing December 31, 2002 and ending December 31, 2007, with the cumulative total return of the Standard & Poors 500 Stock Index (which does not include Benchmark), and the Peer Group Index, which is composed of Celestica Inc., Suntron Corp (formerly EFTC Corp), Flextronics International, Ltd. (which recently acquired Solectron Corporation), Jabil Circuit, Inc., Plexus Corp and Sanmina-SCI Corp. Dividend reinvestment has been assumed.
NOTES: Assumes $100 invested on December 31, 2002 in Benchmark Electronics, Inc. Common Shares, in the S&P 500, and in the Peer Group Index. Reflects month-end dividend reinvestment, and annual reweighting of the Peer Group Index portfolios.
(1) During the first quarter of 2003, the Company settled and released various claims arising out of customer manufacturing agreements. In connection with the settlement of these claims, the Company recorded a non-cash gain totaling $8.1 million.
(2) See Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a discussion of the restructuring charges occurring in 2007 and 2006. In connection with the closing of the Scotland facility in the fourth quarter of 2003, the Company recorded $2.8 million in restructuring charges.
(3) During the third quarter of 2007, the Company recorded a $6.5 million discrete tax benefit related to a previously closed facility. During the first quarter of 2006, the Company recorded a $4.8 million tax benefit for the write-off of the investment in the Leicester, England subsidiary.
(4) See Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for the basis of computing earnings per share.
References in this report to the Company, Benchmark, we, or us mean Benchmark Electronics, Inc. together with its subsidiaries. The following Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements are identified as any statement that does not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as anticipate, believe, intend, plan, projection, forecast, strategy, position, continue, estimate, expect, may, will, or the negative of those terms or other variations of them or comparable terminology. In particular, statements, express or implied, concerning future operating results or the ability to generate sales, income or cash flow are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those discussed under Item 1A of this report. The future results of our operations may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. Many of the factors that will determine these results are beyond our ability to control or predict. Undue reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statements. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual outcomes may vary materially from those indicated.
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto in Item 8 of this report.
We are in the business of manufacturing electronics and provide our services to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of computers and related products for business enterprises, medical devices, industrial control equipment, testing and instrumentation products, and telecommunication equipment. The services that we provide are commonly referred to as electronics manufacturing services (EMS). We offer our customers comprehensive and integrated design and manufacturing services, from initial product design to volume production and direct order fulfillment. Our manufacturing and assembly operations include printed circuit boards and subsystem assembly, box build and systems integration, the process of integrating subsystems and, often, downloading and integrating software, to produce a fully configured product. We also provide specialized engineering services, including product design, printed circuit board layout, prototyping, and test development. We believe that we have developed strengths in the manufacturing process for large, complex, high-density printed circuit boards as well as the ability to manufacture high and low volume products in lower cost regions such as Brazil, China, Mexico, Romania and Thailand.
As our customers have continued to expand their globalization strategy during the past several years, we have continued to make the necessary changes to align our business operations with our customers demand. These changes include, among other activities, moving production between facilities, reducing staff levels, realigning our business processes and reorganizing our management. Restructuring charges associated with these realignment efforts, primarily related to the closure of our Leicester, England and Loveland, Colorado facilities, were approximately $4.7 million (pre-tax) during the year ended December 31, 2006. During the year ended December 31, 2007, we incurred $4.7 million (pre-tax), primarily related to the closure of our Redmond, Washington facility, the transfer of the Companys printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) operations in Dublin, Ireland to Brasov, Romania and the consolidation and resizing of certain other facilities, as we continue to expand our low-cost capacity while realigning and further strengthening our global footprint to support continued
business opportunities. In connection with the Merger, a total of $7.0 million (pre-tax) in integration costs were incurred during the year ended December 31, 2007. These costs included redundant operating costs that are expected to be eliminated in future periods. We believe that our global manufacturing presence increases our ability to be responsive to our customers needs by providing accelerated time-to-market and time-to-volume production of high quality products. These capabilities should enable us to build stronger strategic relationships with our customers and to become a more integral part of their operations. Our customers face challenges in planning, procuring and managing their inventories efficiently due to customer demand fluctuations, product design changes, short product life cycles and component price fluctuations. We employ production management systems to manage their procurement and manufacturing processes in an efficient and cost-effective manner so that, where possible, components arrive on a just-in-time, as-and-when needed basis. We are a significant purchaser of electronic components and other raw materials, and can capitalize on the economies of scale associated with our relationships with suppliers to negotiate price discounts, obtain components and other raw materials that are in short supply, and return excess components. Our expertise in supply chain management and our relationships with suppliers across the supply chain enables us to reduce our customers cost of goods sold and inventory exposure.
We recognize revenue from the sale of circuit board assemblies, systems and excess inventory when the goods are shipped, title and risk of ownership have passed, the price to the buyer is fixed and determinable and recoverability is reasonably assured. Revenue from design, development and engineering services is recognized when the services are performed and collectibility is reasonably certain. Such services provided under fixed price contracts are accounted for using the percentage of completion method. We assume no significant obligations after product shipment as we typically warrant workmanship only. Therefore, our warranty provisions are immaterial.
Our cost of sales includes the cost of materials, electronic components and other materials that comprise the products we manufacture, the cost of labor and manufacturing overhead, and adjustments for excess and obsolete inventory. Our procurement of materials for production requires us to commit significant working capital to our operations and to manage the purchasing, receiving, inspection and stocking of materials. Although we bear the risk of fluctuations in the cost of materials and excess scrap, we periodically negotiate cost of materials adjustments with our customers. Our gross margin for any product depends on the sales price, the proportionate mix of the cost of materials in the product and the cost of labor and manufacturing overhead allocated to the product. We typically have the potential to realize higher gross margins on products where the proportionate level of labor and manufacturing overhead is greater than that of materials. As we gain experience in manufacturing a product, we usually achieve increased efficiencies, which result in lower labor and manufacturing overhead costs for that product and higher gross margins.
Effective January 8, 2007, we acquired Pemstar Inc. (Pemstar), a publicly traded EMS company headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota (the Merger). Pursuant to the Agreement and Plan of Merger among Benchmark and Pemstar dated October 16, 2006 (the Merger Agreement), each issued and outstanding share of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of Pemstar was converted into the right to receive 0.160 of a common share, par value $0.10 per share, of Benchmark. With the closing of the Merger, Pemstar became a wholly owned subsidiary of Benchmark. This acquisition expanded our customer base and deepened our engineering and systems integration capabilities.
The aggregate purchase price was $221.5 million, including common shares valued at $202.5 million, stock options and warrants valued at $9.0 million, conversion feature of debt valued at $4.8 million and acquisition costs of $5.2 million. The value of the 7.3 million common shares issued was based on the average market price of our common shares over the 2-day period before and after the terms of the acquisition were agreed to and announced.
As a direct result of the Merger, we assumed approximately $89.4 million of indebtedness, including $5 million in convertible senior subordinated notes. Subsequent to the Merger, we reduced the assumed debt by $72.2 million. The convertible senior subordinated notes matured on May 1, 2007 and were converted into 0.4 million common shares at the request of the noteholders. Prior to the Merger, the Company had no outstanding debt.
We are accounting for the Merger utilizing the accounting principles promulgated by Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) Nos. 141 and 142. Therefore, the results of operations of the Pemstar operations since January 8, 2007 have been included in the accompanying consolidated statements of income. The allocation of the net purchase price of the Merger resulted in goodwill of approximately $165.9 million.
The inclusion of the operations of the acquired facilities in Benchmarks accounts is responsible for a substantial portion of the variations in the results of our operations (including components thereof) from period to period. The effects of the Merger on our financial condition and our reported results of operations should be considered when reading the financial information contained herein.
The Merger constitutes a significant expansion of our operations. Accordingly, the potential effect of the Merger on our future financial condition, liquidity and results of operations should be considered when reading the historical financial information and related discussions set forth in the following section. See Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report.
Summary of 2007 Results
Sales for the year ended December 31, 2007 and 2006 were $2.9 billion in each year. Sales to our largest customer, Sun Microsystems, Inc., represented 22% of our sales in 2007 compared to 39% of our sales in 2006. Sales to this customer decreased to $643.9 million in 2007 from $1.1 billion in 2006, a decrease of 42%. This decrease is attributable to a combination of product transitions, the impact of second sourcing and reduced demand for certain products. The decrease in sales to our largest customer was offset by an increase in sales of $483.5 million, primarily a result of the Merger and increased sales under new programs.
Our gross profit as a percentage of sales decreased to 6.8% in 2007 from 6.9% in 2006 due primarily to under-absorbed fixed costs. Our margin has also been impacted by inefficiencies and resources necessary for the integration activities related to the acquisitions in 2007 as well as the closing of several facilities. We experience fluctuations in gross profit from period to period. Fluctuations in 2007 were due primarily to changes in production levels, production mix, inventory levels, new program ramps, product crossovers and other factors, including the impacts of acquisitions in 2007 and restructuring activities. Different programs contribute different gross profits depending on factors such as the types of services involved, location of production, size of the program, complexity of the product, and level of material costs associated with the various products. Moreover, new programs can contribute relatively less to our gross profit in their early stages when manufacturing volumes are usually lower, resulting in inefficiencies and unabsorbed manufacturing overhead costs. In addition, a number of our new and higher volume programs remain subject to competitive constraints that could exert downward pressure on our margins in the near future.
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES
Managements discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations is based upon our condensed consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Our significant accounting policies are summarized in Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. On an on-going basis, we evaluate our estimates, including those related to allowance for doubtful accounts, inventories, deferred taxes, impairment of long-lived assets, and contingencies and litigation. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates. We believe the following critical accounting policies affect our more significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements.
Allowance for doubtful accounts
Our accounts receivable balance is recorded net of allowances for amounts not expected to be collected from our customers. Because our accounts receivable are typically unsecured, we periodically evaluate the collectibility of our accounts based on a combination of factors, including a particular customers ability to pay as well as the age of the receivables. To evaluate a specific customers ability to pay, we analyze financial statements, payment history, third-party credit analysis reports and various information or disclosures by the customer or other publicly available information. In cases where the evidence suggests a customer may not be able to satisfy its obligation to us, we set up a specific allowance in an amount we determine appropriate for the perceived risk. If the financial condition of our customers were to deteriorate, resulting in an impairment of their ability to make payments, additional allowances may be required.
Inventory obsolescence reserve
We purchase inventory based on forecasted demand and record inventory at the lower of cost or market. We reserve for estimated obsolescence as necessary in an amount equal to the difference between the cost of inventory and estimated market value based on assumptions of future demands and market conditions. We evaluate our inventory valuation on a quarterly basis based on current and forecasted usage and the latest forecasts of product demand and production requirements from our customers. Customers frequently make changes to their forecasts, requiring us to make changes to our inventory purchases, commitments, and production scheduling and may require us to cancel open purchase commitments with our vendors. This process may lead to on-hand inventory quantities and on-order purchase commitments that are in excess of our customers revised needs, or parts that become obsolete before use in production. We record inventory reserves on excess and obsolete inventory. These reserves are established on inventory which we have determined that our customers are not responsible for or on inventory that we believe our customers are unable to fulfill their obligation to ultimately purchase such inventory from us. If actual market conditions are less favorable than those we projected, additional inventory write-downs may be required.
We estimate our income tax provision in each of the jurisdictions in which we operate, including estimating exposures related to examinations by taxing authorities. We must also make judgments regarding the ability to realize the deferred tax assets. We record a valuation allowance to reduce our deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized. While we have considered future taxable income and ongoing prudent and feasible tax planning strategies in assessing the need for the valuation allowance, in the event we were to subsequently determine that we would be able to realize our deferred tax assets in excess of our net recorded amount, an adjustment to the valuation allowance would increase income in the period such determination was made. Similarly, should we determine that we would not be able to realize all or part of our net deferred tax assets in the future, an adjustment to the valuation allowance would reduce income in the period such determination was made.
We are subject to examination by tax authorities for varying periods in various U.S. and foreign tax jurisdictions. During the course of such examinations disputes occur as to matters of fact and/or law. Also, in most tax jurisdictions the passage of time without examination will result in the expiration of applicable statutes of limitations thereby precluding the taxing authority from conducting an examination of the tax period(s) for which such statute of limitations has expired. We believe that we have adequately provided for our tax liabilities.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets
In accordance with SFAS No. 144, long-lived assets, such as property, plant, and equipment, and purchased intangibles subject to amortization, are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. The recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of an asset to the estimated undiscounted future cash flows expected to be generated by the asset. If the carrying amount of an asset exceeds its estimated undiscounted future cash flows, an impairment charge would be recognized by the amount that the carrying amount of the asset exceeds the fair value of the asset.
Goodwill and intangible assets that have indefinite useful lives are tested annually for impairment, and are tested for impairment more frequently if events and circumstances indicate that the asset might be impaired. An impairment loss would be recognized to the extent that the carrying amount exceeds the assets fair value. We completed the annual impairment test during the fourth quarter of 2007 and determined that no impairment existed as of the date of the impairment test. Goodwill and intangible assets are measured at the reporting unit level, which we have determined to be consistent with our operating segments as defined in Note 13 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report, by determining the fair values of the reporting units using a discounted cash flow model and comparing those fair values to the carrying values, including goodwill, of the reporting unit. At December 31, 2007, we had net goodwill of approximately $283.7 million, including $170.7 million resulting from 2007 acquisitions. Circumstances that may lead to impairment of goodwill include unforeseen decreases in future performance or industry demand, and the restructuring of our operations as a result of a change in our business strategy.
In accordance with the provisions of SFAS No. 123 (Revised 2004) and the Security and Exchange Commission Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 107 (SAB 107), we began recognizing stock-based compensation expense in our consolidated statement of income on January 1, 2006. The fair value of each option grant is estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model. Option pricing models require the input of subjective assumptions, including the expected life of the option and the expected stock price volatility. Judgment is also required in estimating the number of option awards that are expected to vest as a result of satisfaction of time-based vesting schedules. If actual results or future changes in estimates differ significantly from our current estimates, stock-based compensation could increase or decrease. See Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report.
Recently Enacted Accounting Principles
See Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report for a discussion of recently enacted accounting principles.
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following table presents the percentage relationship that certain items in our Consolidated Statements of Income bear to sales for the periods indicated. The financial information and the discussion below should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto in Item 8 of this report.
Year Ended December 31, 2007 Compared With Year Ended December 31, 2006
Sales for the year ended December 31, 2007 and 2006 were $2.9 billion in each year. The following table sets forth the percentages of our sales by industry for 2007 and 2006.
A substantial percentage of our sales have been made to a small number of customers, and the loss of a major customer, if not replaced, would adversely affect us. Sales to our largest customer, Sun Microsystems, Inc., represented 22% of our sales during 2007 compared to 39% of our sales in 2006. Sales to this customer decreased to $643.9 million in 2007 from $1.1 billion in 2006, a decrease of 42%. This decrease is attributable to a combination of product transitions, the impact of second sourcing and reduced demand for certain products. The decrease in sales to our largest customer was offset by an increase in sales of $483.5 million, primarily a result of the Merger and increased sales under new programs. Our future sales are dependent on the success of our customers, some of which operate in businesses associated with rapid technological change and consequent product obsolescence. Developments adverse to our major customers or their products, or the failure of a major customer to pay for components or services, could have an adverse effect on us. See Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report.
Our international operations are subject to the risks of doing business abroad. These risks have not had a material adverse effect on our results of operations through December 31, 2007. However, we can make no assurances that there will not be an adverse impact in the future. See Item 1A for factors pertaining to our international sales and fluctuations in the exchange rates of foreign currency and for further discussion of potential adverse effects in operating results associated with the risks of doing business abroad. During 2007 and 2006, 43% and 37%, respectively, of our sales were from our international operations.
We had a backlog of approximately $1.7 billion at December 31, 2007, as compared to the 2006 year-end backlog of $1.9 billion. Backlog consists of purchase orders received, including, in some instances, forecast requirements released for production under customer contracts. Although we expect to fill substantially all of our backlog during 2008, at December 31, 2007, we did not have long-term agreements with all of our customers and customer orders can be canceled, changed or delayed by customers. The timely replacement of canceled, changed or delayed orders with orders from new customers cannot be assured, nor can there be any assurance that any of our current customers will continue to utilize our services. Because of these factors, backlog is not a meaningful indicator of future financial results.
Gross profit decreased 0.3% to $198.9 million for 2007 from $199.5 million in 2006. Gross profit as a percentage of sales decreased to 6.8% during 2007 from 6.9% in 2006 due primarily to under-absorbed costs. Our margin has also been impacted by inefficiencies and resources necessary for the integration activities related to the acquisitions in 2007, as well as the closing of several facilities. We experience fluctuations in gross profit from period to period. Fluctuations in 2007 were due primarily to changes in production levels, production mix, inventory levels, new program ramps, product crossovers and other factors, including the impacts of acquisitions in 2007 and restructuring activities. Different programs contribute different gross profits depending on factors such as the types of services involved, location of production, size of the program, complexity of the product, and level of material costs associated with the various products. Moreover, new programs can contribute relatively less to our gross profit in their early stages when manufacturing volumes are usually lower, resulting in inefficiencies and unabsorbed manufacturing overhead costs. In addition, a number of our new and higher volume programs remain subject to competitive constraints that could exert downward pressure on our margins in the near future.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses
Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 36% to $93.9 million in 2007 from $69.3 million in 2006. Selling, general and administrative expenses, as a percentage of sales, were 3.2% and 2.4%, respectively, for 2007 and 2006. The increase in selling, general and administrative expenses is primarily associated with the Merger.
Restructuring Charges and Integration Costs
We recognized $11.6 million in restructuring charges and integration costs during 2007 related to reductions in workforce and the re-sizing and closure of certain facilities and the integration of the facilities acquired in the Merger. In connection with these activities, we recorded restructuring charges for employee termination costs and other restructuring and integration related costs.
The recognition of the restructuring charges requires that we make certain judgments and estimates regarding the nature, timing and amount of costs associated with the planned exit activity. To the extent our actual results in exiting these facilities differ from our estimates and assumptions, we may be required to revise the estimates of future liabilities, requiring the recognition of additional restructuring charges or the reduction of liabilities already recognized. At the end of each reporting period, we evaluate the remaining accrued balances to ensure that no excess accruals are retained and the utilization of the provisions are for their intended purpose in accordance with developed exit plans. See Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report.
Interest expense for 2007 and 2006 was $2.2 million and $0.4 million, respectively. The increase is due to interest expense on the debt assumed in the Merger. See Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report.
Income Tax Expense
Income tax expense of $8.1 million represented an effective tax rate of 8.0% for 2007, compared with $20.1 million at an effective tax rate of 15.2% for the same period in 2006. The decrease in the effective tax rate is primarily due to a discrete tax benefit of $6.5 million recorded in the third quarter of 2007 related to a previously closed facility that generated a worthless stock deduction and an increase in tax-exempt income in certain foreign locations in 2007. In 2006, a discrete tax benefit of $4.8 million related to the closure of our Leicester, England facility was recorded in the first quarter. See Note 9 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report.
We reported net income of approximately $93.3 million, or diluted earnings per share of $1.28 for 2007, compared with net income of approximately $111.7 million, or diluted earnings per share of $1.71 for 2006. The net decrease of $18.4 million in 2007 was due to the factors discussed above.
Year Ended December 31, 2006 Compared With Year Ended December 31, 2005
Sales for 2006 were $2.9 billion, a 29% increase from sales of $2.3 billion in 2005. The increase of $650.1 million resulted from increased sales under new programs and increased activity with existing customers across all industry sectors.
The following table sets forth the percentages of our sales by industry for 2006 and 2005.
During 2006 and 2005, 37% and 35%, respectively, of our sales were from our international operations. The increase in the percentage of international sales for 2006 as compared to 2005 primarily reflects the additional sales resulting from the operation of the facilities in Thailand, including the Thailand systems integration facility which began operations in August 2005.
We had a backlog of approximately $1.9 billion at December 31, 2006, as compared to the 2005 year-end backlog of $1.7 billion.
Gross profit increased 23% to $199.5 million for 2006 from $161.6 million in 2005. Gross profit as a percentage of sales decreased to 6.9% during 2006 from 7.2% in 2005. Comparing 2006 to 2005, the fluctuations were due to changes in production levels, production mix, inventory levels, new program ramps, product crossovers and other factors.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses
Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 11% to $69.3 million in 2006 from $62.3 million in 2005. The increase in selling, general and administrative expenses during 2006 is partially due to the recognition of $2.6 million of stock-based compensation expense resulting from the adoption of SFAS No. 123R. Additional increases are a result of corporate and administrative expenses necessary to support the increased size and complexity of our business. Selling, general and administrative expenses, as a percentage of sales, were 2.4% and 2.8%, respectively, for 2006 and 2005. The decrease in selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of sales is primarily associated with the increase in sales.
Income Tax Expense
Income tax expense of $20.1 million represented an effective tax rate of 15.2% in 2006, compared with $25.2 million at an effective tax rate of 23.8% in 2005. The decrease in the effective tax rate is primarily due to a tax benefit of $4.8 million related to the closure of our Leicester, England facility recorded in the first quarter of 2006 and an increase in tax-exempt income in certain foreign locations. See Note 9 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report.
We reported net income of approximately $111.7 million, or diluted earnings per share of $1.71 for 2006, compared with net income of approximately $80.6 million, or diluted earnings per share of $1.25 for 2005. The net increase of $31.1 million in 2006 was due to the factors discussed above.
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
We have historically financed our growth and operations through funds generated from operations, proceeds from the sale of our securities and funds borrowed under our credit facilities. Cash and cash equivalents increased to $199.2 million at December 31, 2007 from $123.9 million at December 31, 2006.
Cash provided by operating activities was $282.1 million in 2007. The cash provided by operations during 2007 consisted primarily of $93.3 million of net income adjusted for $43.1 million of depreciation and amortization, a $111.6 million decrease in accounts receivable, and a $134.8 million decrease in inventories offset by a $109.3 million decrease in accounts payable. Working capital was $884.2 million at December 31, 2007 and $760.9 million at December 31, 2006. The increase in working capital during 2007 is primarily due to the level of business activity during the period including the impact of the Merger.
We expect increases in working capital to support the anticipated growth in sales. We are continuing the practice of purchasing components only after customer orders are received, which mitigates, but does not eliminate the risk of loss on inventories. Supplies of electronic components and other materials used in operations are subject to industry-wide shortages. In certain instances, suppliers may allocate available quantities to us. We did not experience shortages of electronic components and other material supplies during the reporting period. If shortages of these components and other material supplies used in operations occur, vendors may not ship the quantities we need for production and we may be forced to delay shipments, which would increase backorders.
Cash used in investing activities was $97.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2007 primarily due to the purchase of short-term investments and additional property, plant and equipment offset by the sale of our short-term investments and the net cash acquired in acquisitions during the year. Capital expenditures of $17.0 million were primarily concentrated in manufacturing production equipment in Asia to support our ongoing business and to expand certain existing manufacturing operations.
Cash used in financing activities was $114.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2007. During 2007, we received $9.2 million from the exercise of stock options and $1.6 million in federal tax benefits of stock options exercised. As a direct result of the Merger, we assumed approximately $89.4 million of indebtedness, including $5 million in convertible senior subordinated notes. Subsequent to the Merger, we reduced the assumed debt by $72.2 million. The convertible senior subordinated notes matured on May 1, 2007 and were converted into 0.4 million common shares at the request of the noteholders. On July 25, 2007, our Board of Directors approved the repurchase of up to $125 million of our outstanding common shares. During the year ended December 31, 2007, share repurchases totaled $53.0 million.
Under the terms of a Credit Agreement (the Credit Agreement), we have a $100.0 million five-year revolving credit facility for general corporate purposes with a maturity date of December 21, 2012. The Credit Agreement includes an accordion feature under which total commitments under the facility may be increased by an additional $100 million, subject to satisfaction of certain conditions. Interest on outstanding borrowings under the Credit Agreement is payable quarterly, at our option, at either the banks Eurodollar rate plus 0.75% to 1.75% or its prime rate plus 0.00% to 0.25%, based upon our debt ratio as specified in the Credit Agreement. A commitment fee of 0.15% to 0.35% per annum (based upon our debt ratio) on the unused portion of the revolving credit line is payable quarterly in arrears. As of December 31, 2007, we had no borrowings outstanding under the Credit Agreement, $0.3 million letters of credit outstanding and $99.7 million was available for future borrowings.
The Credit Agreement is secured by our domestic inventory and accounts receivable, 100% of the stock of our domestic subsidiaries, and 65% of the voting capital stock of each direct foreign subsidiary and substantially all of our and our domestic subsidiaries other tangible and intangible assets. The Credit Agreement contains customary financial covenants as to working capital, debt leverage, fixed charges, and consolidated net worth, and restricts our ability to incur additional debt, pay dividends, sell assets and to merge or consolidate with other persons without the consent of the banks. As of December 31, 2007, we were in compliance with all such covenants and restrictions.
Our Thailand subsidiary has a credit agreement with Kasikornbank Public Company (the Thai Credit Agreement). The Thai Credit Agreement provides that the lender will make available to our Thailand subsidiary up to approximately $16 million in revolving loans and machinery loans. The Thai Credit Agreement is secured by land, buildings and machinery in Thailand. In addition, the Thai Credit Agreement provides for approximately $2.0 million (62 million Thai baht) in working capital availability in the form of working capital loans (10 million Thai baht) and bank guarantees (52 million Thai baht). Availability of funds under the Thai Credit Agreement is reviewed annually and is currently accessible through September 2008. As of December 31, 2007, our Thailand subsidiary had no working capital borrowings outstanding.
Our operations, and the operations of businesses we acquire, are subject to certain foreign, federal, state and local regulatory requirements relating to environmental, waste management, health and safety matters. We believe we operate in substantial compliance with all applicable requirements and we seek to ensure that newly acquired businesses comply or will comply substantially with applicable requirements. To date, the costs of compliance and workplace and environmental remediation have not been material to us. However, material costs and liabilities may arise from these requirements or from new, modified or more stringent requirements in the future. In addition, our past, current and future operations, and the operations of businesses we have or may acquire, may give rise to claims of exposure by employees or the public, or to other claims or liabilities relating to environmental, waste management or health and safety concerns.
As of December 31, 2007, we had cash and cash equivalents totaling $199.2 million, short-term investments totaling $182.8 million and $99.7 million available for borrowings under our revolving credit line. As of February 27, 2008, we hold $95.4 million of auction rate securities. We believe we will be able to liquidate our investments in these securities within the next year without loss, and we currently believe these securities are not significantly impaired, primarily due to the credit quality of the underlying assets, however, it could take until the final maturity of the underlying assets (up to 40 years) to realize our investments recorded value. Based on our expected operating cash flows, and our other sources of cash, we do not anticipate the potential lack of liquidity on these investments will affect our ability to execute our current business plan. We believe that during the next twelve months, our capital expenditures will be approximately $35 to $45 million, principally for machinery and equipment to support our ongoing business around the globe, in addition to our planned expansion in Asia, primarily a new building in China. On July 25, 2007, our Board of Directors approved the repurchase of up to $125 million of our outstanding common shares. During the period from July 25, 2007 to December 31, 2007, we repurchased a total of 2.6 million common shares for $53.0 million at an average price of $20.33 per share. Through February 27, 2008, we have repurchased a total of 4.1 million shares for $77.3 million at an average price of $18.86 per share. We currently have $47.7 million remaining under the plan to purchase additional shares. We are under no commitment or obligation to repurchase any particular amount of common shares and share purchases may be suspended at any time at managements discretion. Management believes that our existing cash and short-term investment balances and funds generated from operations will be sufficient to permit us to meet our liquidity requirements over the next twelve months. Management further believes that our ongoing cash flows from operations and any borrowings we may incur under our credit facilities will enable us to meet operating cash requirements in future years. Should we desire to consummate significant acquisition opportunities, our capital needs would increase and could possibly result in our need to increase available borrowings under our revolving credit facility or access public or private debt and equity markets. There can be no assurance, however, that we would be successful in raising additional debt or equity on terms that we would consider acceptable.
We have certain contractual obligations that extend out beyond 2008 under lease obligations and debt arrangements. Non-cancelable purchase commitments do not typically extend beyond the normal lead-time of several weeks. Purchase orders beyond this time frame are typically cancelable. We do not utilize off-balance sheet financing techniques other than traditional operating leases and we have not guaranteed the obligations of any entity that is not one of our wholly owned subsidiaries. The total contractual cash obligations in existence at December 31, 2007 due pursuant to contractual commitments are:
We adopted FASB Interpretation No. 48, Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes, an interpretation of FASB Statement No. 109 (FIN 48) on January 1, 2007. The amount of unrecognized tax benefits as of December 31, 2007 was $31.1 million. We have not provided a detailed estimate of the timing of future cash outflows associated with the liabilities recognized in this balance due to the uncertainty of when the related tax settlements will become due. See Note 1 (q) to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report.
OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS
As of December 31, 2007, we did not have any significant off-balance sheet arrangements. See Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report.
Our international sales are a significant portion of our net sales; we are exposed to risks associated with operating internationally, including the following:
· Foreign currency exchange risk;
· Import and export duties, taxes and regulatory changes;
· Inflationary economies or currencies; and
· Economic and political instability.
We do not use derivative financial instruments for speculative purposes. As of December 31, 2007, we did not have any foreign currency hedges. In the future, significant transactions involving our international operations may cause us to consider engaging in hedging transactions to attempt to mitigate our exposure to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. These exposures are primarily, but not limited to, vendor payments and inter-company balances in currencies other than the currency in which our foreign operations primarily generate and expend cash. Our international operations in some instances operate in a natural hedge because both operating expenses and a portion of sales are denominated in local currency. Our sales are substantially denominated in U.S. dollars. Our foreign currency cash flows are generated in certain Asian and European countries, Mexico and Brazil. With the acquisition of Pemstar, our foreign currency cash flows have increased.
We are also exposed to market risk for changes in interest rates, a portion of which relates to our short-term investment portfolio. We do not use derivative financial instruments in our investment portfolio. We place cash and cash equivalents and investments with various major financial institutions. We protect our invested principal funds by limiting default risk, market risk and reinvestment risk. We mitigate default risk by generally investing in investment grade securities. As of December 31, 2007, the outstanding amount in the short-term investment portfolio was $182.8 million of auction rate securities with an average return of approximately 4.7%.
BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Balance Sheets
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Income
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income
Accumulated unrealized foreign currency translation gains (losses) were $1.6 million, ($6.4) million and ($8.2) million at December 31, 2007, 2006 and 2005, respectively. Foreign currency translation adjustments consist of adjustments to consolidate subsidiaries that use the local currency as their functional currency and transaction gains and losses related to intercompany dollar-denominated debt that is not expected to be repaid in the foreseeable future.
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Shareholders Equity