Duke University/CFO
Business Outlook Survey
Spring 2007

No individual firms are identified and only aggregate data are made public. Please respond by Thursday, May 31. 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.
If your optimism about the U.S. economy has changed this quarter, why?

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
   Political stability
   Skilled labor shortage
   Consumer demand
   Currency values
   Foreign competition
   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

    M&A activity
   % Inventory
   % Cash on the balance sheet
   % Dividends
  % Share repurchases

  What key factors explain your repurchase decisions?
  

 5a. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act reaches its five-year anniversary this July. How would you characterize the effectiveness of the legislation on a scale from 1 to 5?
  Not Effective       Very Effective  
  1 2 3 4 5  
   

 5b. How would you characterize the need to repeal or modify certain aspects of Sarbox on a scale from 1 to 5? Reform is:
  Not Needed       Badly Needed  
  1 2 3 4 5  
   

 5c. Compared to your cost of Sarbox compliance in the first year, how much does it cost your company now?
  Less --- By how much?   (e.g., -25% means cost has declined by one-fourth)
  About the Same
  More --- By how much?  %  
(e.g., +33% means cost has increased by one-third)

5d. Overall, do you think that the benefit to shareholders has outweighed the costs of implementing Sarbox?
  Costs greatly
outweigh benefits
  Costs the same
as benefits
  Benefits greatly
outweigh costs
 
  1 2 3 4 5  
   

 6a. Do you expect the recent surge in M&A activity to slow down in the next year? (Choose best answer)
  No slow down, M&A will stay strong for at least one year
  Yes slow down, but not until 2008
  Yes slow down, but not until Fall 2007
  Yes slow down, starting this summer
  6b. If Yes, what will cause the M&A boom to weaken? [check all that apply]
  Best deals already done, so remaining deals less profitable
  Increase in interest rates
  Decrease in stock market
  Private equity will push up the price of targets to make acquisitions unattractive
  Increased regulatory oversight
  Weak economic growth
  Other:  

 7. Some lawmakers are calling for increased transparency of hedge funds' operations and motives. What is your opinion of the current state of hedge fund regulation? [choose best response]
  Stricter regulation of hedge funds is needed
  Current regulation is adequate
  Current regulation is too strict, and should be relaxed

 8. On May 21, 2007 the annual yield on 10-yr treasury bonds was 4.8%. 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:

          %

 9. To what degree do you personally affect the investment decisions of your firm?
  Not At All   A Little Moderate Amount A Lot  
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7  
   

 10. For the investments that your company makes this year, what do you expect the internal rate of return (IRR) to be?

Worst Case: There is a 1-in-10 chance
that the actual (realized) IRR will be
less than
:
 
              %

Best Guess
:
I expect the IRR
to be:


  %

Best Case: There is a 1-in-10 chance
that the actual (realized) IRR will be
greater than
:
 
                 %

 11. How do you rate your ability to choose which investment projects will turn out to be profitable to your firm?
  Poor     Average     Excellent  
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7  
   

 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, 2007