(Company corrects to narrow fiscal 2011 forecast range in second bullet and fifth paragraph. The information first appeared in UPDATE 2. Changes headline due to space

LOS ANGELES - Starbucks Corp, the world's largest coffee chain, expects rising coffee prices to hit profits more than it previously thought and forecast full-year earnings below analysts' expectations.

That news sent its shares down more than 2 percent, even as the company reported profits and U.S. sales that handily topped Wall Street's targets.

Rising prices for restaurant food ranging from coffee and milk to beef and bread are pressuring restaurant operators.

Earlier this week Starbucks rival McDonald's Corp said it would raise prices where it makes sense to offset some, but not all, of the food cost increases.

Seattle-based Starbucks on Wednesday forecast earnings of $1.44 to $1.47 a share for fiscal year 2011, compared with the average analyst expectation of $1.49 a share. The company expects commodity costs to cut earnings by about 20 cents a year, compared with a forecast of 8 cents to 10 cents a share in November.

Coffee represents 15 percent to 20 percent of Starbucks cost of sales, including occupancy.

The benchmark C arabica coffee futures contract trading on ICE Futures U.S. remains around levels last seen 13-1/2-years ago, after surging nearly 80 percent in a rally that began in June 2010.

Late last year the company raised drink prices in the United States and China due to surging prices for coffee and other commodities.

Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead told Reuters that the company is fully locked for fiscal 2011 -- meaning it has bought all the coffee it will need for this year.

I don't think you'll see what I'll call a new round of price increases, said Alstead, who noted that the previously announce round of coffee cost-related menu price hikes have not yet shown up in every market.


Starbucks' profit for the fiscal first quarter ended January 2 jumped almost 44 percent from the year-ago period to $346.6 million, or 45 cents a share. That easily topped analysts' average call for a profit of 39 cents per share for the latest quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales at Starbucks cafes open at least 13 months were up 8 percent in the United States and up 5 percent internationally for the holiday quarter, which traditionally is Starbucks' biggest for revenue.

Starbucks shares fell 2.3 percent to $32.30 in after-hours trading.

There was a big beat in the quarter but they didn't raise guidance. I'm sure there is some digesting of that, William Blair & Co analyst Sharon Zackfia said of the share move.

(Additional reporting by Brad Dorfman in Chicago, Nichola Groom in Los Angeles and Marcy Nicholson in New York; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)