February 7, 2006

Boston Scientific reported sales grew 12 percent in 2005, while fourth-quarter sales dropped roughly 4 percent on softer drug-eluting stent sales.

For the 12-month period last year, the firm generated net sales of $6.28 billion, up from $5.62 billion in 2004. Boston Scientific's coronary stents generated worldwide sales of $2.69 billion in 2005, up 14 percent from $2.35 billion in 2004, the firm said in an earnings report.

However, net sales in the 2005 fourth quarter were $1.54 billion, down from $1.60 billion for the 2004 fourth quarter. Worldwide coronary stent sales for the fourth quarter totaled $640 million, down from $730 million in the same 2004 period.

Boston Scientific's top selling Taxus stent generated worldwide sales of $606 million in the 2005 fourth quarter, down from $691 million for the 2004 fourth quarter. U.S. sales of Taxus totaled $398 million in the fourth quarter, down from $503 million from the same 2004 period.

Boston Scientific recently won a bidding war with Johnson & Johnson to buy heart devicemaker Guidant. Boston Scientific has agreed to pay roughly $27 billion for the company, and hopes to close the deal this spring.

"We are very pleased that [Boston Scientific] experienced double-digit growth on a global basis during 2005," said Jim Tobin, president and CEO of the company. "In our first full year of Taxus sales, we continued to be the worldwide leader in drug-eluting stents in the markets we serve."

"During the second half of the year we launched our next-generation paclitaxel-eluting stent system, Taxus Liberte, and saw our drug-eluting stent market share settle into a sustainable leadership position," he added.