Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Report shares slid 3% Thursday after a top executive at the java giant said meeting the high end of the company's targets this year will be "very challenging."

Starbucks' Chief Financial Officer Michael Casey, speaking at an analyst conference in Chicago, said the company has been hit in part by higher dairy costs. According to a slideshow accompanying his presentation, dairy commodity costs are estimated to nearly double this year.

Starbucks has forecast a full-year profit of 87 cents to 89 cents a share, and the company still sees earnings within that range. Casey's cautious comments, however, sent shares down 86 cents to $26.46 on heavy volume, since Starbucks is a fast-growth company that often is punished by investors for any performance that is seen as less-than-stellar.

Wall Street was expecting Starbucks to meet the high end of its forecast; according to Thomson Financial, analysts have an average estimate for earnings of 89 cents a share.

Elsewhere within its presentation, Starbucks said it expects full-year same-store sales growth of 3% to 7%, consistent with its long-term expectations. The company anticipates 20% net revenue growth for the fiscal year, which ends in September.

Starbucks expects to open 2,400 new stores in fiscal 2007, bringing its total to roughly 14,840.