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Boston Scientific Shares Down On Stent Studies; Abbott Moves Higher

Boston Scientific's stock slid on Monday while shares of Abbott Laboratoriesjumped after a study showed Abbott's drug-coated stent was better at treating clogged heart arteries.

"Over the weekend, the competitive landscape in drug-eluting stents was effectively turned on its head," JP Morgan analyst Michael Weinstein said in a note to clients.

Abbott on Saturday presented data that showed its Xience drug-eluting stent was superior to Boston Scientific's market-leading Taxus stent in both its primary goal of reduced reclogging and a secondary goal of fewer adverse cardiac events.

The study results, which will be used to seek U.S. approval for the device, were presented at a major meeting of cardiologists in New Orleans.

"Results from Abbott's U.S. and European DES trials should catapult the company's Xience product into a leadership position in both markets come 2008," Weinstein said.

Weinstein and other analysts raised their earning estimates for Abbott Laboratories following the results.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Joanne Wuensch cut her investment rating on Boston Scientific to "market perform" from "outperform" on Monday, citing the study and renewed worries about the overall health of the market for the wire-mesh devices that emit drugs to prevent vessels from narrowing again.

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