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BJ's Restaurants, Inc.

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BJ’s Restaurants shares have underperformed the Zacks categorized Retail-Restaurants industry year-to-date. A challenging sales environment is hurting the company’s comps growth. Traffic and sales are expected to remain soft in the near term given various social and political issues and weakening consumer confidence. It is thus planning to slow down its pace of unit openings to focus more on sales building initiatives. Moreover, higher labor costs and expenses related to marketing as well as other sales-boosting initiatives are expected to continue to keep profits under pressure. However, the company is positive on driving growth over the long term given its streamlined and novel menu, prudent expansion plans, Project Q initiatives along with various marketing, operational and technology-driven strategies. Still, the company’s limited international presence and intensifying competition in the domestic market raise caution.

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