Why thefts of cars and pricey car parts have skyrocketed

Houston Texans sign QB Jeff Driskel to one-year deal amid Deshaun Watson’s uncertain future

The Houston Texans signed free agent quarterback Jeff Driskel to a one-year deal, according to an ESPN report. The deal is worth up to $2.5 million.

Driskel's signing comes in light of an uncertain future for starter Deshaun Watson, who is facing 22 civil lawsuits of alleged sexual assault and inappropriate conduct. Watson also asked for a trade from the franchise in January. 

The former Florida Gators signal caller joins a QB corps in Houston that includes Tyrod Taylor, Davis Mills and Ryan Finley.

Police, SWAT in a standoff with domestic violence suspect in Aurora

Some residents in the Aurora Highlands are being told to shelter in place Thursday morning as police are trying to arrest an armed domestic violence suspect, according to the Aurora Police Department.

The suspect has barricaded themselves inside a home. .

SWAT is on scene at the 1800 block of South Truckee Street in Aurora.

The police say they are trying to make contact with the suspect to surrender peacefully.

Law enforcement is asking people to avoid the area.

This is a developing story.

Advanced Drainage Systems Guides FY22 Well Below Estimates; Boosts Dividend 22% – Quick Facts

While reporting financial results for the fourth quarter on Thursday, water management solutions firm Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. (WMS) initiated its net sales and adjusted EBITDA guidance for the full year 2022, based on current visibility, backlog of existing orders and business trends.

For fiscal 2022, the company now projects net sales in the range of $2.22 billion to $2.30 billion and adjusted EBITDA in the range of $635 million to $665 million.

On average, 17 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report net sales of $4.73 billion for the year.

Separately, the company announced that its Board of Directors has approved a 22 percent higher quarterly cash dividend to its shareholders in the amount of $0.11 per share, payable on June 15, 2021 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 1, 2021.

The Company also announced that its Board of Directors has approved a $250 million increase in the Company’s existing stock repurchase program, with the Company now having authorization to repurchase up to $292 million.

Ralph Lauren Corp. Q4 adjusted earnings Beat Estimates

Below are the earnings highlights for Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL):

-Earnings: -$74.1 million in Q4 vs. -$249.0 million in the same period last year.
-EPS: -$1.01 in Q4 vs. -$3.38 in the same period last year.
-Excluding items, Ralph Lauren Corp. reported adjusted earnings of $28.4 million or $0.38 per share for the period.
-Analysts projected -$0.73 per share
-Revenue: $1.29 billion in Q4 vs. $1.27 billion in the same period last year.

European Economics Preview: Eurozone Current Account Data Due

Current account data from euro area is due on Thursday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

At 2.00 am ET, Germany’s producer price data for April is due. Economists forecast producer price inflation to rise to 5.1 percent from 3.7 percent in March.

At 4.00 am ET, the European Central Bank releases euro area current account data for March. The current account surplus totaled EUR 25.9 billion in February.

In the meantime, wage data is due from Poland. Economists forecast corporate sector wage growth to rise to 10.4 percent in April from 8 percent in March.

At 6.00 am ET, the Confederation of British Industry is slated to release Industrial Trends survey results for May.

Petco Health And Wellness Boosts FY21 Outlook – Quick Facts

While reporting its financial results for the first quarter on Thursday, pet health and wellness firm Petco Health and Wellness Co., Inc. (WOOF) raised its adjusted earnings and revenue guidance for the full-year 2021.

For fiscal 2021, the company now projects adjusted earnings in a range of $0.73 to $0.76 per share on revenues between $5.475 billion and $5.575 billion.

Previously, the company expected adjusted earnings in the range of $0.63 to $0.66 per share on revenues between $5.20 billion and $5.30 billion.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.66 per share on revenues of $5.33 billion for the year. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Why thefts of cars and pricey car parts have skyrocketed

Thefts of cars and catalytic converters — a pricey and essential car part — surged in 2020, adding stress to consumers during an already-trying time.

Law enforcement experts, insurance industry insiders, and even mechanics have all seen the spike effect their professions.

In 2020, auto thefts increased 9.2% over 2019, according to a study by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Overall, the group counted 873,080 thefts throughout the year compared with 799,644 in 2019.

In addition to entire cars, thieves have been sawing catalytic converters off the vehicle undercarriages, because the devices contain precious metals, mainly platinum, palladium and rhodium, which have seen sharp price increases in recent months. Rhodium's price hovered around $28,000 an ounce this week.

Experts say the economic effects of the pandemic and high metal prices are among the factors emboldening thieves. But consumers can take steps to protect themselves by locking their cars and not leaving their key fobs in the vehicle, and installing anti-theft devices for catalytic converters.