The long term debt-to-assets ratio is a measure of the financial leverage of the company. It tells you what percentage of the assets is financed by long term debt. Long-term debt is debt due for repayment in over 12 months and is not included in the current liabilities figure on the balance sheet. It includes mortgages and long-term leases, but not general trading liabilities.
A high ratio usually indicates a higher degree of business risk because the company must meet principal and interest on its obligations. Potential creditors are reluctant to give financing to a company with a high debt position. However, the magnitude of debt depends on the type of business. For example, a bank may have a high debt ratio but its assets are generally liquid. A utility can afford a higher ratio than a manufacturer because its earnings are more stable.