Duke University/CFO Magazine
Business Outlook Survey
Winter 2006

No individual firms are identified and only aggregate data are made public. Please respond by Sunday, March 5. If you have any questions about this survey, please contact us.

1. Are you more or less optimistic about the U.S. economy compared to last quarter?
More optimistic
Less optimistic
No change
Rate your optimism about the U.S. economy on a scale from 0-100, with 0 being the least optimistic and 100 being the most optimistic.

2. Are you more or less optimistic about the financial prospects for your company compared to last quarter?
More optimistic
Less optimistic
No change
Rate your optimism about the financial prospects for your own company on a scale from 0-100, with 0 being the least optimistic and 100 being the most optimistic.

3. What are the top three concerns your company faces in 2006? (rank #1, #2, #3)
   Economic/political stability
   Cost of labor (wage/salary, bonus)
   Cost of fuel
   Cost of non-fuel commodities
   Health care costs
   Increased interest rates
   Increased regulation
   Bird flu
   Skilled labor shortage
  
Declining consumer demand
  
Currency values
  
Competition
  
Inflation
   Terrorism
   Other:

4. During the past 12 months, what percentage change has your firm experienced for:
   %  Cost of labor (wage/salary, bonus)
   %  Cost of employee benefits
   %  Change in capital spending

5. Relative to the previous 12 months, what will be your company's PERCENTAGE CHANGE during the next 12 months? (e.g., +3%, -2%, etc.) [Leave blank if not applicable]
   % Earnings
   % Capital spending
   % Technology spending
   % Number of domestic employees
   % Number of foreign/off-shore
                         outsourced employees
   % Prices of your products
   % Wages/Salaries
   % Health care costs
   % Productivity (output per hour worked)
   % Marketing/Advertising
   % Inventory
   % Cash on the balance sheet
   % Dividends

    M&A activity

6a. Some analysts expect that inflation will increase over the next few years. How would an increase in annual inflation by 1% (i.e., from current rate of 2.5% to a new rate of 3.5%) affect your corporation?
Large Negative Impact       Large Positive
Impact
1 2 3 4 5

6b. How would an increase in annual inflation by 2% affect your corporation?
Large Negative Impact       Large Positive
Impact
1 2 3 4 5

7. What Fed policy would be best for your corporation?
  Decrease rates by 50bp
  Decrease rates by 25bp
  Do nothing to rates
  Increase rates by 25bp
  Increase rates by 50bp
  Other:

8a. Over the next year, do you expect the U.S. dollar to change in value relative to the Euro?
  Depreciate 10% or more
  Depreciate less than 10%
  No change
  Appreciate less than 10%
  Appreciate 10% or more

8b. If the U.S. dollar were to depreciate more than 10%, how would your firm respond? (check all that apply)
  Invest more in US operations
  Invest more in overseas operations
  Procure more supplies in US
  Target more products for export
  Increase hedging
  Raise more capital outside of US
  Adjust prices of products
  Other    

9. Over the next year, what does your company plan to do with its cash holdings? [Rank #1, #2, #3]
   Retain as cash
   Increase capital spending
   Increase wages/benefits
   Invest in inventory and working capital
   M&A
   Pay dividends
   Repurchase shares
   Research and development   
  Other:

10. Decreasing US dependence on Mid-East oil, as President Bush has suggested, will come at a cost. What price of oil per barrel would be acceptable to your firm, in order to cut in half within five years the dependence of your country on Mid-East oil? The price of a barrel of oil on February 17 was about $60 per barrel.
$   per barrel would be acceptable to our firm

11. On February 27, 2006 the annual yield on 10-yr treasury bonds was 4.6%. Please complete the following:

a. Over the next 10 years, I expect the average annual S&P 500 return will be:


Worst Case: There is a 1-in-10
chance the actual average
return will be less than:

             %
Best Guess:
I expect the
return to be:

%
Best Case: There is a 1-in-10
chance the actual average
return will be greater than:

          %

b. During the next year, I expect the S&P 500 return will be:

Worst Case: There is a 1-in-10
chance the actual return will
be less than:

             %
Best Guess:
I expect the
return to be:

%
Best Case: There is a 1-in-10
chance the actual return will
be greater than:

          %

Please check one from each category that best describes your company:

     a. Industry

       Retail/Wholesale
       Mining/Construction
       Manufacturing
       Transportation/Energy
       Communications/Media
      Tech [Software/Biotech]
      Banking/Finance/Insurance
      Service/Consulting
      Healthcare/Pharmaceutical
      Other  
  b. Sales Revenue  c. Number of Employees
       Less than $25 million
       $25-$99 million
       $100-$499 million
       $500-$999 million
       $1-$4.9 billion
       $5-$9.9 billion
       More than $10 billion
      Fewer than 100
      100-499
      500-999
      1,000-2,499
      2,500-4,999
      5,000-9,999
      More than 10,000
  d. Headquarters   e. Ownership
       Northeast U.S.
       Mountain U.S.
       Midwest U.S.
       South Central U.S.
       South Atlantic U.S.
       Pacific U.S.
       Canada
       Central/Latin America
       Europe
       Asia
      Public, NYSE
      Public, NASDAQ/AMEX
      Private
      Government
      Nonprofit
  f. Foreign Sales g. Your job title (e.g., CFO, Asst. Treasurer, etc):
       0%
       1-24%
       25-50%
       More than 50%
       

Duke University, 2006