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Alphabet Finally Discloses Size of YouTube’s Ad Business

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Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. has disclosed how much YouTube’s advertising business rakes in for the first time, writing in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the streaming giant made just shy of $15.15 billion in ad revenue in fiscal year 2019. It made some $4.79 billion of it in Q4 2019 alone.

Alphabet has long resisted releasing information about the financial performance of its subsidiary companies, the most notable of which are Google and YouTube. Per Marketwatch, Alphabet’s hand seems to have been forced by rules implemented in 2017 that require investors to receive the same financial results as the chief decision-maker at the company; it previously claimed that CEO Larry Page didn’t see the results broken down by unit. But Google CEO Sundar Pichai was promoted to CEO of Alphabet last year following Page and co-founder Sergey Brin’s decision to take a backseat, meaning that the company could no longer hide the data from investors. Pichai and Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat both said the official rationale for the disclosure was to provide extra “insight into our business.”

2019’s YouTube ad revenue was an increase from 2018, when it made just shy of $11.16 billion, according to the disclosures. (Those tallies don’t include other revenue YouTube makes, such as YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, which collectively have 20 million subscribers.) Other figures released on Monday include the revenue of Google’s Cloud business, which is fighting against Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. That rolled in just shit of $8.91 billion in 2019, up from $5.84 billion in 2018.

“Our investments in deep computer science, including artificial intelligence, ambient computing and cloud computing, provide a strong base for continued growth and new opportunities across Alphabet,” Pichai wrote in the release.

The numbers hammer home how much bigger YouTube is than other streaming services—AdWeek noted that Hulu’s 2019 ad revenue was a comparatively paltry $700 million, alongside $1.3 billion in subscriber revenue—but Alphabet’s overall Q4 2019 performance at $46.07 billion in sales missed analyst expectations of $46.94 billion. That’s the worst Q4 revenue growth Alphabet has posted since 2015, according to the Guardian. Google’s hardware business also apparently didn’t do so well, with CNET reporting that Porat mentioned “declining hardware revenue,” though it’s not clear from the release which specific product lines are missing the mark.

However, Alphabet did deliver shareholder earnings of $15.35 per share, beating expectations of $12.53. That wasn’t enough to stem an after-hours trading drop, with Alphabet falling over four percent, according to the Guardian.

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RBC warns house price correction could be deepest in decades | CTV News – CTV News Toronto

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A housing correction, which has already led to four consecutive months of price declines in the previously overheated Greater Toronto Area market, could end up becoming “one of the deepest of the past half a century,” a new report from RBC warns.

New data released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) last week revealed that the average benchmark price for a home in the GTA fell six per cent month-over-month in July to $1,074,754.

Sales were also down a staggering 47 per cent from July, 2021.

In a report published on Aug. 4, RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue said recent data from real estate boards underlines that higher interest rates are beginning to take a “huge toll” on the market.

Hogue said that with further hikes to come, prices will likely continue to slide in the coming months.

That prediction, it should be noted, goes against a report from Royal LePage last month which painted a rosier forecast for sellers in which values would more or less holding for the rest of the year following some declines in the second quarter.

“Our expectations for further hikes by the Bank of Canada—another 75 basis points to go in the overnight rate by the fall— will keep chilling the market in the months ahead,” Hogue said. “We expect the downturn to intensify and spread further as buyers take a wait-and-see approach while ascertaining the impact of higher lending rates. Canada’s least affordable markets Vancouver and Toronto, and their surrounding regions, are most at risk in light of their excessively stretched affordability and outsized price gains during the pandemic.”

The Bank of Canada has hiked the overnight lending rate by 225 basis points since March and has warned that further hikes will be necessary given that inflation remains at a near 40-year high.

In his report, Hogue pointed out that the housing correction “now runs far and wide across Canada” but he said that it is particularly pronounced in the costlier markets of Toronto and Vancouver.

In fact, Hogue said that housing resale activity in Toronto is at its slowest pace in 13 years, outside of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stockpile of available homes is also up 58 per cent from a year ago, he noted.

“With more options to choose from and higher interest rates shrinking their purchasing budgets, buyers are able to extract meaningful price concessions from sellers,” he said, pointing out that the average price of a home in the GTA is down 13 per cent from March. “We expect buyers to remain on the defensive in the months ahead as they deal with rising interest rates and poor affordability.”

While Hogue did say that condos in the City of Toronto are likely to remain “relatively more resilient” he said that prices elsewhere will continue to fall for the time being, especially in the 905 belt “where property values soared during the pandemic.”

The July data from TRREB suggested that the average price of a home in the GTA was still up one per cent from July, 2021.

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Commuters face GO transit cancellations, possible strike – CityNews

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Canada Revenue Agency plans email blitz to get Canadians to cash outstanding cheques worth $1.4-billion – The Globe and Mail

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The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is planning a massive e-mail notification campaign to reach Canadians across the country who have uncashed cheques worth a net $1.4-billion.

The e-mail notifications will target recipients of the Canada child benefit and related provincial and territorial programs, as well as recipients of the GST/HST credits and the Alberta Energy Tax Refund.

The CRA said it plans to send approximately 25,000 e-mails in August, another 25,000 in November and a further 25,000 e-mails by May, 2023.

However, even without receiving an e-mail notification, the agency said a taxpayer can check if they have a cheque by logging into My Account, a secure portal on its website to check if they have an uncashed cheque over a period of six months. It added that representatives can also view uncashed cheques of their clients.

Each year, the CRA said it issues millions of payments to Canadian taxpayers in the form of refund benefits. These payments are issued by either direct deposit or by cheque.

“Over time, payments can remain uncashed for various reasons, such as the taxpayer misplacing the cheque or even a change of address which did not allow for delivery,” the agency said in a statement.

The CRA said since the e-mail notification initiative was first launched in February, 2020, about two million uncashed cheques valued at $802-million were redeemed by May 31, 2022.

The average amount per uncashed cheque is $158 with some of them dating as far back as 1998, the agency said.

As of May, 2022, there were an estimated 8.9 million uncashed cheques with the CRA. In May, 2019, about five million Canadians had an estimated 7.6 million uncashed cheques.

“As government cheques never expire or stale date, the CRA cannot void the original cheque and re-issue a new one unless requested by the taxpayer,” the statement read. “These upcoming e-notifications are to encourage taxpayers to cash any cheques they have in their possession.”

The agency said taxpayers can register for the direct deposit option on its website to receive payments directly into their bank accounts.

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