Updated from 10:10 a.m. EDT

Reduced stent sales led Boston Scientific ( BSX) to report weaker third-quarter numbers than Wall Street expected, and the medical-devices maker cautioned that consensus estimates for the rest of the year also appear to be too high.

Boston Scientific lost $269 million, or 33 cents a share, in the third quarter, including charges of $616 million. The bulk of the charges, $598 million, stemmed from a settlement with Israeli company Medinol, which had alleged that Boston's Express and Taxus Express stents infringed its patents.

Overall the Natick, Mass., company had revenue of $1.51 billion, compared with $1.48 billion a year ago. "Obviously a flattish result for the quarter," said CFO Larry Best during the company's conference call Friday. "Not exactly what we expected."

Excluding the charges, earnings totaled $347 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with $404 million, or 47 cents a share, last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting the company to earn 44 cents and report revenue of $1.56 billion.

Worldwide coronary stent sales sank 7.7% to $633 million for the quarter. Taxus drug-eluting coronary stent systems brought in $601 million of the total. Stent sales were $686 million a year ago.

"The size of the market was a bit under what we thought in the third quarter," Best said, adding that most likely Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) took some of its market share.

At least part of that can probably be explained by the results of a study conducted by J&J's Cordis unit, which compared the safety and effectiveness of its own Cypher stent with Boston Scientific's Taxus.

"It is a factor that has weighed on us," said Paul LaViolette, Boston Scientific's chief operating officer. Cordis found that the stents were equally effective, but said the Cypher was safer. LaViolette said that led to an "erroneous safety campaign" based on an "isolated trial that has produced anomalous results."

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