Regarding references to non-GAAP measures, reconciliations with the most comparable GAAP measures have also been provided in our most recent 10-K and 10-Q, as well as the financial supplement. Finally, this call is being recorded and webcast. During the next week, the call may be accessed again on CNA's website.
And with that, I'll turn the call over to CNA's Chairman and CEO, Tom Motamed.
Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. Let me start by saying we are delighted with the positive premium growth in our Specialty and Commercial businesses. This is the first quarter in which we have had positive growth in both Specialty and Commercial since the fourth quarter of 2006. Submission activity in new business continued to be strong, particularly in those industries where we are concentrating and dedicating our resources. We are also pleased with the improving rate trends across our Property & Casualty business. CNA's financial foundation continues to improve as well. Book value per common share increased 3% since the end of this year's first quarter and 6% since year end 2010.Turning to our financial results, net operating income was $116 million or $0.43 per common share in the second quarter of 2011 as compared to $269 million or $0.91 per common share in the same period last year. The decline was primarily due to lower levels of favorable prior year development, $0.17 per share in this year's second quarter versus $0.64 in last year's second quarter, as well as an increase in catastrophe losses. This losses reduced this year's second quarter earnings by -- earnings per share by $0.24 versus $0.12 last year. Net operating income from Property & Casualty Operations was $153 million in the second quarter of 2011 as compared to $293 million in the second quarter last year. These results included after-tax catastrophe losses of $65 million and $31 million, respectively.