Good morning. My name is Kelly and I'll be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the RenaissanceRe First Quarter 2018 Financial Results Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session (Operator Instructions) Thank you.
And I will now turn the call over to Mr. Peter Hill. Mr. Hill, you may begin your conference.
Thanks Kelly. Good morning, and thank you all for joining our first quarter 2018 financial results conference call. Yesterday, after the market closed, we issued our quarterly release. If you didn't get a copy, please call me at 212-521-4800 and we'll make sure to provide you with one. There will be an audio replay of the call available from about 1 pm Eastern Time today through midnight on June 2nd. The replay can be accessed by dialing 855-859-2056 or +1-404-537-3406. The passcode you will need for both numbers is 18690171. Today's call is available through the Investor Information section of www.renre.com and will be archived on RenaissanceRe's website through midnight on June 2nd.
Before we begin, I am obliged to caution that today's discussion may contain forward-looking statements and actual results may differ materially from those discussed. Additional information regarding the factors shaping these outcomes can be found in RenaissanceRe's SEC filings to which we direct you.
With us to discuss today's results are Kevin O'Donnell, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Bob Qutub, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
I'd now like to turn the call over to Kevin. Kevin?
Thanks, Peter. Good morning, and thank you for joining today's call. I'll open the call with an overview of our performance for the quarter. Bob will then go over the financial results. And finally I'll come back on to speak more about the segments and take your questions.
Last night we released our first quarter earnings. I'm pleased to report that we had a strong quarter. We executed well into an expanding market and were able to grow our book materially. What we accomplished was not easy, but rather was the culmination of years of preparation, creating new platforms, developing gross to net partnerships, sharpening our tools and relentlessly focusing on the three superiors. This preparation facilitated access to desirable risk across our Property and Casualty and Specialty businesses.
Our team understood this strategy and pursued it aggressively. For the first quarter, we reported growth in book value per share of 0.6% and growth in tangible book value per share plus accumulated dividends of 0.8%. We also reported an annualized return on average common equity of 5.7% and an annualized operating return on common equity of 13.5%. The solid results we reported for the quarter were driven by a low level of cat activity during the quarter, higher net earned premium following a successful January 1 renewal where we targeted accounts and executed well and prior year favorable development.
We had strong
President and Chief Executive Officer
Robert "Bob" Qutub
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
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