James S. Tisch
President and Chief Executive Officer at Loews
Thank you, Chris, and good morning. Loews is off to a great start in the first half of 2022, with each of our consolidated subsidiaries continuing to produce strong results. CNA had another quarter of solid underwriting results and Boardwalk continues to benefit from robust natural gas flows. Loews Hotels had a record first half of the year, especially at the resort destinations despite the lingering effects of the pandemic on business travel. CNA continues to be a success story for Loew's. The company's underlying combined ratio improved by 60 basis points to 90.8%, driven by a lower expense ratio.
Excluding the impact of the quota share treaty implemented last June, net written premiums grew by 13% in the second quarter due to strong new business and retention. CNA continues its laser-like focus on underwriting, and the results speak for themselves. In the financial markets in the past quarter, two major things happened: risk assets dropped dramatically; and interest rates rose significantly. CNA's core income was negatively impacted by lower returns on its private equity, hedge fund and common stock portfolios, which were down by $171 million pre-tax versus the prior year period.
With respect to the rise in interest rates, at the end of the second quarter, CNA's fixed income portfolio had a pre-tax unrealized loss of $1.8 billion. By comparison, at the end of 2021, the portfolio had a pre-tax unrealized gain of $4.4 billion. As a result, CNA's book value per share was about $35 at the end of the second quarter compared to about $47 at the end of 2021. In fact, it is important to note that regardless of the prevailing interest rates, CNA will still receive the same cash flows from the fixed income securities that are currently in its portfolio, and the company intends to hold most of those securities to maturity.
The good news is that CNA is now able to invest at significantly higher yields. And while book value per share has suffered a decline due to those higher interest rates, this decline does not imply any deterioration of the credit quality of the portfolio nor any impairment of the timely collection of principal and interest from our securities.
As I said on our last earnings call, over the long-term, higher interest rates will be generally beneficial for CNA, allowing the company to invest its cash flow at higher rates than it previously could. On average, CNA reinvests between $300 million and $400 million a month in its fixed income portfolio. So higher interest rates will improve that portfolio's yield over time. Higher rates are particularly helpful for CNA's long-term care book of business, which has longer duration liabilities in CNA's P&C business. The company has been able to buy long-term securities at higher yields than it previously could, allowing it to advantageously lengthen the duration of this portion of its portfolio.
Turning to Loews Hotels & Co. The company has been performing exceptionally well, having just generated its highest quarterly adjusted EBITDA ever in the amount of $116 million. These impressive results are related to strong leisure travel and rapidly recovering group demand. Total adjusted EBITDA generated for the first half of the year was $183 million, which is $54 million higher than the pre-pandemic first half of 2019. Several new resort and convention properties developed by Loews Hotels have opened over the past few years, and the company's favorable performance has certainly been impacted by the addition of these attractively situated properties.
Additionally, I'm happy to report that we had yet another resort hotel opening this November, the Loews Coral Gables Hotel. We look forward to this property strengthening our brand in South Florida. As a reminder, Loews Hotels is one of very few owner operators in the hotel industry. The company's ability to design its unique properties ensures that Loew's hotels are built to our exacting standards. Additionally, the company's active participation in designing these properties means that these hotels are ideally suited to today's market demands. To review, the hotel company's growth strategy is based on two pillars. First, catering to group business; and second, developing and operating hotels in immersive destinations.
The first pillar focuses on hotels with 300 plus keys and ample meeting space that also offer unique local experiences that attract group and transient customers alike. We are very encouraged by the recent pickup in group travel at these locations and really all locations with significant meeting space. The properties that Loews Hotel owns in partnership with Universal Orlando are a great example of the second pillar of the Loews Hotels' strategy. Immersive destinations with built-in demand generators. The Universal Orlando partnership has been highly successful, spending more than two decades and currently encompassing eight hotels with 9,000 rooms.
Additionally, Loews Hotels has been focused on building out Arlington, Texas, which is an immersive destination that caters to group travel and therefore, is consistent with both pillars of its growth strategy. Our current property in Orlando -- excuse me, our first property in Arlington, the Live! By Loews hotels is within an entertainment district with three professional sports stadiums and performance venues, and it's also close to the future home of the national Medal of Honor Museum, opening at the end of 2024. This Live! By Loews Hotel was particularly resilient during the pandemic. Given our confidence in this market, I'm pleased to report that we have topped off construction of the new Loews Arlington Hotel, an 888 room hotel connected via indoor SkyBridge to the Live! By Loews Hotel.
This new property will have over 250,000 feet of meeting and event space and will be connected to Arlington's brand-new convention center. The Loews Arlington hotel remains on track to open in the first quarter of 2024. Together, the two hotels in Arlington will have almost 1,200 rooms for guests who are visiting this vibrant entertainment district either for major events or for attending meetings in our top-of-the-line convention space.
As for Boardwalk Pipelines, the company is operationally strong, and we look forward to the resolution of our litigation whose appeal is currently pending in the Delaware Supreme Court. The case is scheduled to be heard on September 14. We have every hope that this case will be resolved by the end of the year. If you'd like to know more about my thoughts on the Boardwalk litigation, I refer you to my first quarter comments.
Finally, concerning share repurchases, from April 29, the last day we reported share repurchases until today, we have repurchased 5.2 million shares of Loews common stock for $310 million. Year-to-date, we've bought back 3.1% of our outstanding shares for $459 million. As I've often said, we believe that Loews still trades at a significant discount to our view of its intrinsic value, so we'll continue to let our share repurchase activity speak for itself.
And now over to you, Jane, and welcome to your first earnings call as the CFO of the Loews Corporation.