Duke University/CFO Magazine
Business Outlook Survey
Autumn 2006

No individual firms are identified and only aggregate data are made public. Please respond by Monday, November 20. 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 corporation faces? (rank #1, #2, #3)
   Cost of labor (wages, salaries, bonuses)
   Cost of fuel
   Cost of non-fuel commodities
   Health care costs
   Interest rates
   Regulation
   Skilled labor shortage
   Consumer demand
   Currency values
   Foreign competition
   Instability stemming from North Korea
   Instability stemming from Iraq
   Terrorism
   Other:    

4. 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]
   % Prices of your products
   % Productivity (output per hour worked)
   % Technology spending
   % Capital spending
   % Marketing/advertising spending
   % Number of domestic employees
   % Number of foreign/off-shore
                      outsourced employees
   % Wages/Salaries
   % Health care costs
   % Earnings
   % Inventory
   % Cash on the balance sheet
   % Dividends

    M&A activity

5. What do you expect to be the greatest drivers of profit growth for your company in 2007? (Choose top 3)
  None
  Greater sales of existing products/services
  Sales from new products/services
  Domestic Demand
  Foreign Demand (exports or products/services
         produced and sold overseas)
  Price increases
  Cost cutting (e.g., layoffs, outsourcing)
  IT efficiency/IT productivity gains
  Non-IT efficiency/productivity gains
  Falling energy prices
  Reduced non-energy input costs
  Acquisitions
  Alliances
  Other    

6. What is the probability that the U.S. Economy will experience a recession during the next 12 months? (e.g., 0%, 50%, etc)
    % chance of recession

7a. Has your company been contacted by activist investors (e.g., activist hedge funds, pension funds, or private equity) during the past few years?
  No  [Please skip to Question 8]
  Yes 
7b. How friendly were your interactions with the activist investor?
      Friendly
      Neutral
      Hostile
      Not applicable or do not know

7c. All in all, after responding to or warding off the activist investor, is your company better off or worse off for the experience?
      Better off
      No difference
      Worse off
      Not applicable or do not know

7d. Did you alter your corporate policies or take actions to address suggestions or demands by activist investors?
      No  
      Yes
7e. Which policies did you alter or actions did you take to address suggestions or demands by activist investors?
      Dividend payout
      Repurchases
      Financing choices
      Personnel changes
      Cash balances
      M&A plans (including asset sales, spin-offs, etc)
      Strategic decisions
      Board representation
      Employee compensation
      Other    

8. In the last year has your company been active in the M&A market as a buyer (seeking or acquiring targets)?
  No
  Yes



If yes, do you think the presence of private equity investors in the market is making it harder for you to buy companies at acceptable prices?
  No
  Yes

9. If Congress could tackle only three issues in the coming year, which should they be? (Choose top 3)
  Health care costs
  Medicare
  Social Security
  Increase minimum wage
  Tax reform
  Budget deficit
  Trade deficit
  Resolving the war in Iraq
  Resolving the disputes with North Korea and Iran
  Address global warming
  Reduce US dependence on foreign oil
  Ethics investigation(s)
  Affordability and quality of education
  Other    

10. On November 10, 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