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Starbucks stock drops after report questions momentum

Image Source: Starbucks

Starbucks stock retreated Tuesday in heavy volume after a research report suggested the coffee chain's growth may be losing some steam.

"Coming off two very strong quarters, our proprietary data indicates the chain's momentum may have slowed this quarter. We believe sales growth will likely continue to be driven primarily by increased traffic and innovative food and beverage offerings," ITG Investment Research's Steve West wrote in a report.

Following the report's release on Tuesday, Starbucks stock slid about 3 percent. (Click here to track the company's stock following the report.) During the past year, Starbucks shares have skyrocketed, outpacing the S&P 500's rise to jump about 45 percent.

In a little more than two hours after the opening bell, about 5.7 million shares had already been traded, higher than the stock's 30-day average daily volume of 4.6 million shares.

(Read more: Even at $450, Starbucks cards sell out in seconds)

ITG forecast the company would deliver 5 to 6 percent U.S. same-store sales growth during its current fiscal first quarter. It noted that the firm's proprietary data showed slowing trends since data from October and November were worse than September.

This predicted level of growth is lower than the 8 percent comparable store sales growth the company saw during its fiscal year 2013, which ended in late September.

(Read more: Chick-fil-A joins Starbucks in mobile payments bet)

—By CNBC's Katie Little. Follow her on Twitter @KatieLittle

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