Edward Jones

Exxon reports big drop in 4Q profit, takes gas write-down

Exxon Mobil posted its smallest quarterly profit in more than 17 years as low oil and gas prices pushed the company to write down the value of some natural gas holdings in the United States.

The 40 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit capped Exxon's weakest year since 1998.

Still, Exxon ended a string of nine straight quarters in which revenue declined from a year earlier.

The company's new CEO, Darren Woods, didn't signal any change in Exxon strategy. He blamed the lower profit on the long slump in oil and gas prices and the $2 billion write-down, and said Exxon's string of major projects around the world put it in good position for the long term.