Daily News: September 27, 2012

GE Capital: Mid-Market CFOs See Opportunities


U.S. CFOs of middle-market companies surveyed this summer remain generally positive about the state of their own industries and continue to see measured growth over the next three years, according to the latest GE Capital Mid-Market CFO Survey.

CFOs’ sentiment on the state of the U.S. economy and their respective industries declined slightly since the first-quarter survey but remained above the levels of a year ago. Their view on the current health of the world economy continued to deteriorate.

A majority of CFOs expect to grow their revenues in 2012, and nearly two-thirds of CFOs still plan to hire in the next 12 months, although both figures fell from six months ago.

The survey, which was conducted during the third quarter of 2012, included responses from 500 CFOs of companies with average revenues of $124 million operating across seven distinct industries including: food, beverage and agribusiness; general manufacturing; healthcare; metals, mining and metals fabrication; retail; technology and business services; and transportation.

“Middle-market CFOs still see expansion opportunities over the next three years, but remain cautious as concerns about the business environment and uncertainties in areas such as tax and healthcare policy persist,” said Dan Henson, president and CEO of GE Capital, Americas. “From our perspective as a provider of capital, we see positive year over year growth in both lending and leasing. Economic sentiment, while still positive, is slightly more guarded than we saw in the last survey. In the meantime, the credit markets are very healthy, providing extremely attractive terms for borrowers as credit facilities come up for renewal and as acquisition or other investment opportunities develop.”

CFOs’ expectations for their industries shifted from an expansion phase to a more stable outlook. Moving forward, CFOs continue to project moderate growth for their companies, even amid a more measured sentiment for the U.S. economy.

For an executive summary including industry highlights, click here.