A BMO Capital Markets analyst on Wednesday lowered his financial forecast for Smithfield Foods. The analyst, Kenneth Zaslow said "the effect from H1N1 appears to be largely contained, as hog prices have recovered," and that "SFD likely will not violate its debt covenants in F2010 assuming current market conditions."

Zaslow expects Smithfield to register a per-share net loss for the 2009 fiscal year (ended May 2) of $1.27, and expects Smithfield to post earnings in fiscal 2010 of 99 cents per share, compared with an earlier estimate of $1.30 per share.

Financial changes resulting from the sale of its beef segment to JBS has led Smithfield to improvement in its processing operations. These changes put Smithfield in comfortable territory regarding its covenants, Zaslow writes.

Source: Meatingplace.com