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GROWTH COMPANY CEOs REPORT INCREASED CREDIT AVAILABILITY BUT RESIST ADDITIONAL BORROWING, COOPERS & LYBRAND'S 'TRENDSETTER BAROMETER' FINDS

GROWTH COMPANY CEOs REPORT INCREASED CREDIT AVAILABILITY BUT RESIST ADDITIONAL BORROWING, COOPERS & LYBRAND'S 'TRENDSETTER BAROMETER' FINDS
 NEW YORK, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- While America's fastest growing companies report better borrowing terms and increased credit availability, the majority are avoiding taking on additional debt, according to Coopers & Lybrand's second quarter "Trendsetter Barometer" survey.
 One-third of growth company CEOs have increased their credit lines, a major uptick from the 26 percent level of three months ago, the latest survey reveals. In addition, surveyed CEOs report that interest rates for bank financing have declined from 8.12 percent to 7.85 percent, or 1.35 percent over prime, the best terms since the start of "Trendsetter Barometer" in September 1991.
 However, despite the increased availability of money at lower rates, only 35 percent of growth company CEOs report new bank loans or increased financing, a slight decline from the previous quarter.
 "Several internal caution signs are flashing," says Tom Basilo, a Coopers & Lybrand Emerging Business Services partner. "These warning lights are creating a reluctance among growth company CEOs to take on additional debt now."
 With many of those surveyed lowering their growth estimates at mid- year, to an anticipated 24.6 percent gain for 1992 from 27 percent expected in March, it is not surprising they are averse to taking on debt, according to Basilo. In fact, one-quarter of the CEOs cited weak market demand as the most significant barrier to their continued growth, and 22 percent report shrinking gross profit margins, a major shift upward from 14 percent in the first quarter.
 Says Basilo, "Such anemic signals are causing CEOs to wait on the curb and not rush to secure additional financing -- no matter how attractive -- until the warning lights flash green again."
 Coopers & Lybrand's "Trendsetter Barometer" is developed and compiled by the firm's Emerging Business Services group with assistance from the opinion and economic research firm of Business Science International. At each Coopers & Lybrand office, an Emerging Business Services team is available to serve the needs of growing and midsize companies.
 One of the world's leading accounting, tax and consulting firms, Coopers & Lybrand provides solutions for businesses in a wide range of industries. The firm offers its clients the expertise of more than 17,000 professionals and staff in 100 U.S. offices and more than 67,000 people in 121 countries worldwide.
 -0- 8/12/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Coopers & Lybrand's "Trendsetter Barometer" interviewed CEOs of 328 product and service companies identified in the media as the fastest growing U.S. businesses over the last five years. The surveyed companies range in size from approximately $1 million to $50 million in revenues/sales.
 (Graphic art available upon request)/
 /CONTACT: Maggie O'Donovan, 212-536-3174, or Clare DeNicola, 212-536-1700, both of Coopers & Lybrand/ CO: Coopers & Lybrand ST: New York IN: FIN SU: ECO


TS-OS -- NY054 -- 6197 08/12/92 12:50 EDT
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Date:Aug 12, 1992
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