Most CFOs think the US market is overvalued

Most CFOs think the US market is overvalued

September 24, 2015 Uncategorized
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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2015)

According to the latest Global Business Outlook survey jointly conducted by Duke University and CFO magazine, 55% of U.S. companies say they think the stock market is overvalued, while only 6% of them think the stock market is undervalued.

More than 1,200 CFOs, including 510 from the U.S., participated in this recent quarterly survey. The survey questions cover five main parts: Business Optimism, CFO top concerns, Employment and wages, stock market valuation, and risk management concerns. (Click to download: CFOsurveyOverview_2015Q3 Final)

CFOs are very bearish on the U.S. market,” said Fuqua professor Campbell R. Harvey, a founding director of the survey. “Our survey took place during a volatile time where there was a 10 percent market correction. Even after this drawdown, 55 percent of CFOs thought the market was overvalued. source.

is the stock market overvalued or undervalued_CFO Suvey overview 2015Q3
screenshot from the 2015Q3 Global Busines Outlook summary.

Here are some stats on various metrics from 510 U.S. firms.

  • CFOs’ expected earnings growth in next 12 months is 3.0%, down from 11.7% last year.
  • CFOs’ expected revenue growth in the next 12 months is 3.5%, down from 7.3% last year.
earnings and revenue growth
**The survey has been conducted every quarter since July 1996. An archive of past surveys is available under the “Past Results” tab athttp://www.cfosurvey.org.

Not a lot of bulls in CFO land…


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Definitions of common statistics used in our analysis are available here (towards the bottom)




About the Author

Wesley R. Gray, Ph.D.

After serving as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Gray earned a PhD, and worked as a finance professor at Drexel University. Dr. Gray’s interest in bridging the research gap between academia and industry led him to found Alpha Architect, an asset management that delivers affordable active exposures for tax-sensitive investors. Dr. Gray has published four books and a number of academic articles. Wes is a regular contributor to multiple industry outlets, to include the following: Wall Street Journal, Forbes, ETF.com, and the CFA Institute. Dr. Gray earned an MBA and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago and graduated magna cum laude with a BS from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


  • sixchickensleft

    Interesting follow-up questions to have asked the CEOs would have been, (1) Is the stock of YOUR company overvalued? (2) If the market is overvalued, are you selling your stock in your company (as in a falling tide lowers all boats)?

  • How accurate has the survey been since 1996 on each of the predicted metrics?