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Consolidated Edison Inc. (Ticker: ED) has an A- long-term credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, and a 50% net debt to capitalization ratio. ED is a regulated electric utility serving the New York metropolitan area. Newmont Mining Corp. (Ticker: NEM) has a BBB+ long-term credit rating from Standard & Poor’s (a small difference from the rating on ED), and a 9% net debt to capitalization ratio, substantially lower than ED’s. NEM is a global mining company. Discuss the factors that may explain the similarity in credit quality but large differences in financial leverage.

Summary information on each company can be found at either finance.yahoo.com (use the ticker symbol provided above for each company; business and financial information is available via hyperlinks on the left side of the summary quote web page).