Duke University/CFO
Global Business Outlook Survey
Fourth Quarter 2008

No individual firms are identified and only aggregate data are made public. Please respond by November 23. If you have any questions about this survey, please contact us.

1. Are you more or less optimistic about your regional economy compared to last quarter?
More optimistic
Less optimistic
No change
Rate your optimism about the your regional 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 external concerns facing your corporation? (rank #1, #2, #3)
   Consumer demand
   Health of the financial/banking system
   Cost of fuel
   Cost of non-fuel commodities
   Credit markets/interest rates
   Environmental regulation
   Financial regulation
   Foreign competition
   Trade policies and trade agreements
   Foreign currency volatility
   Other:    

4. What are the top three internal, company-specific concerns for your corporation?
   Ability to forecast results
   Counterparty risk/concerns about buyers'
           ability to pay
   Supply chain risk (including suppliers' financial health)
   Attracting and retaining qualified employees
   Balance sheet weakness
   Cost of health care
 
   Data security
   Maintaining morale/productivity during economic downturn
   Managing IT systems
   Pension obligations
   Protection of intellectual property
   Other:    

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

6a. Has your company been affected by the cost or availability of credit?
  No
  Yes, somewhat   
  Yes, very much  
6b. If yes, in what ways has your company been affected?
   [check all that apply]
    Decreased availability of US dollar credit
  Decreased availability of local currency credit

 
 Increased cost of US dollar credit     How many basis points increase since
                                                                  summer 2007?   bps
  Increased cost of local currency credit     How many basis points increase since
                                                                         summer 2007?   bps
  Other:   

7a. How much does your firm hold in cash and marketable securities? (Express as a percentage of total assets.)
            Today %               One year ago %

7b. How large are your bank lines of credit?  (Express as a percentage of total assets.)
            Today %               One year ago %

7c. If you have used a bank line of credit this year, have you used the funds to: (Check all that apply)
  Manage immediate liquidity needs
  Fund normal day-to-day operations
  Build cash for the future, as a precaution
  Obtain cash now in the case bank restricts future credit access
  Other (Please specify)    
  We do not use bank credit lines
  We have not drawn on any credit lines

7d. Compared to 2007, is your firm using more or less of the following funding sources?
  Less Same More NA
Short-term debt
Long-term debt
Bank lines of credit
Bank letters of credit
Factoring accounts receivable or other assets
Commercial paper
Retained earnings/cash
Equity infusions or issuances
Convertible debt
Asset sales
Credit card balances
Other:    

7e. Where does your firm hold most of its cash? (Check the vehicles where your firm keeps the largest balance and second largest balance)
  Money market funds
  Treasuries
  Commercial bank account
  Government agency securities (e.g., Fannie Mae)
  Managed externally by money manager
  Other    

If this has changed since 2007, how?

8a. When capital markets are operating normally, how much does your ability to access external capital limit your ability to pursue attractive investment projects?
  No Effect Small Effect Moderate Effect Large Effect  
   

8b. In the current credit market environment, how much does your ability to access external capital limit your ability to pursue attractive investment projects?
  No Effect Small Effect Moderate Effect Large Effect  
   

8c. When external capital is limited, are your corporate investments (check one or two choices)
  Funded by near-term cash flows/profits
  Funded by cash holdings
  Funded by joint ventures or partnerships
  Funded by other 
  Postponed or canceled
  Other    

9. Is your company taking any of the following actions in response to economic conditions?
  Freezing headcount
  Staff reductions
  Reduce planned staff bonus and/or freeze salaries
  Reduce T&E spending
  Delay, reduce or cancel planned investment
  Postpone planned divestment
  Accelerate/initiate divestment
  Other, please specify    

10. How do you rate your company's long term growth prospects, on a scale of 1 to 10?
  Very
Poor
                Very
Good
 
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
   

11. 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

  

  (Other specified) 
  
      Public
      Private
      Government
      Nonprofit
  f. Foreign Sales   g. Does your firm have one or more foreign subsidiaries?
       0%
       1-24%
       25-50%
       More than 50%

  Yes
  No

  h. Does your firm pay a dividend?   i. Will your firm have positive net income in fiscal 2008?
       Yes
       No
       NA

  Yes
  No
  NA

  j. What is your company's credit rating?   k. Your job title (e.g., CFO, Asst. Treasurer, etc)

 

Check here if you do not have a rating, and please estimate what your rating would be.

      

 



Duke University, 2008