CFOs say healthcare costs, regulatory issues will hamper earnings in 2016

Most CFOs in America believe the U.S. economy and their organizations will have a positive 2016, but they also believe healthcare costs will have a negative effect on earnings next year, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch CFO Outlook survey.

For the survey, 751 CFOs and finance directors who work at various U.S. companies with annual revenues ranging from $25 million to $2 billion were interviewed.

Here are five findings from the report.

1. Most CFOs forecast growth for their companies in 2016. Half of the CFOs surveyed expect 1 to 5 percent growth next year. Only 11 percent of CFOs anticipate growth of 11 percent or more in 2016.

2. Fifty percent of CFOs expect profits at their organizations to remain the same in 2016, while 35 percent expect profits to increase.

3. Thirty-nine percent of CFOs said healthcare costs are the top business consideration threatening earnings. Finance chiefs also said weak domestic demand, increased competition, a shortage of skilled talent and regulatory issues are threatening earnings.

4. Ninety-eight percent of CFOs said their organizations will implement one or more growth strategies in the coming year. Market penetration and market expansion were the two strategies most CFOs intend to implement in 2016.

5. Fifty-four percent of CFOs from companies considering a merger or acquisition said cooperation of the target company was the biggest obstacle threatening completion of the deal.

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