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Boston Scientific


shares fell for the fifth session in six Friday, ahead of its delayed earnings release Monday, when the company will discuss its stent recall with analysts and investors.

Shares fell another $1.11, or 3.3%, to $32.16 in heavy volume. By midday, volume had already surpassed the three-month daily average of almost 6 million shares. The 52-week low is $28.04.

Shares rose Wednesday, the one and only time since the company last Friday widened its recall of the mesh-like metal devices and postponed the release of second-quarter earnings by a week. At the current level, the stock has lost about 20% of its value in six sessions, including today's.

In a Webcast with doctors on Tuesday, the company said that it had completed its recall of Taxus stents, a heart device used to keep arteries open and unclogged after a balloon angioplasty procedure, and had begun restocking hospitals with new units. The move came after several hospitals stopped using the stents.

When the first sign of trouble emerged on July 2, Boston Scientific only recalled 200 stents and said manufacturing defect affected two production lots. After closer inspection, the company found the issue was more widespread. The company then widened its voluntary recall to cover 85,000 Taxus systems and 11,000 Taxus Express 2 systems

The company also said the decision will reverse $45 million in sales already booked and force it to take a $50 million writedown for inventory.

As a result of the recall, several brokers have revised there price targets for the stock.

The consensus forecast of analysts is for net income of $382.4 million, or 45 cents a share, on revenue of $1.46 billion. The company earned 15 cents a share in the year-ago period.

While Boston Scientific downplayed the number of people affected by the stent malfunctions, the company said that the device was already responsible for one death and 18 serious injuries in the case of the drug-coated version of Taxus, with two deaths and 25 serious injuries for the bare-metal version.

The recall is a major -- if, perhaps, temporary -- setback for Boston Scientific, having made big inroads in the lucrative market for drug-coated stents, which are considered superior to bare metal ones.

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When its drug-coated model -- which periodically releases medicine -- hit the market in March, the company joined

Johnson & Johnson

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as the only players in the fast-growing field.





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are also developing drug-eluting versions of the device, for which they hope to seek regulatory approval.

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