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July 9, 1987

AMERICA’s ELECTRONIC CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICERS LOOK FOR BRIGHT SECOND HALF

By CBR Staff Writer

The chief financial officers of the sharp end of the US high tech industry are forecasting modest growth for the second half of the year, according to a poll conducted by Electronic Business magazine, owned by Reed International’s Cahners unit. The 127 chief financial executives who answered the questionnaire identified semiconductors, military electronics and computers as the likely to be the fast-growing segments in the electronics industry during the latter half of 1987 – with expected growth rates of 15% to 18%. Hovering around the 9% mark, production and test equipment were among the slowest-growing industry segments named. Of the 127, 60% expected that their factories would be busier during the second half of the year, and 41.5% of the sample said that they were planning to increase capital expenditures during the period. About a third of those polled said they were planning to build inventories during the second half of 1987. The poll was based on a questionnaire mailed during the spring to about 700 chief financial officers in the electronics industry. With 127 sending back the forms, that represents a response rate of 18%. Applying the usual statistical methods, the paper reckons that the poll has an accuracy rate of 95% plus or minus 3%. More than half of the companies polled had sales last year of under $20m, but there is no indication of the median size of the firms that actually sent back their forms.

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