Boston Scientific ( BSX) Monday reported initial sales of its new drug-coated stent Taxus that more or less met projections.

The company said net sales were $42 million between March 8 and March 19, following Taxus' long-awaited approval by the Food and Drug Administration on March 4.

Shortly before the device's approval, Boston Scientific estimated Taxus sales of $52 million to $75 million during March 1 and March 31.

Boston Scientific is one of two companies with drug-coated stents in the U.S. market. Boston Scientific estimates that drug-coated stents now account for about 65% of the total U.S. stent market, with the older bare metal stents accounting for the rest of the market. Analysts believe that drug-coated stents will become the device of choice in a few years. Boston Scientific has predicted that Taxus would capture 70% of the U.S. drug-coated stent market in 70 days once Taxus became available.

The company shipped approximately 92,000 units through the March 19 sales period, which had 10 selling days, compared to 23 for the entire month of March.

The approval of Taxus -- a tiny device inserted into arteries to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack -- set up a head-to-head battle with rival Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), whose Cypher stent has been on the market since last April.

Johnson & Johnson shares were down 98 cents, or 1.9%, to $50 in premarket trading. Boston Scientific shares closed down 24 cents at $39.98 on Friday.

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