Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) jumped in Friday trading as a federal judge dismissed a class-action lawsuit over the company's pain reliever Vioxx.

Judge Stanley Chesler of the U.S. District Court in Newark dismissed the suit because all of the plaintiffs' claims were not made under the applicable statutes of limitations, the company said. The suit was originally filed by shareholders against the company over its handling of Vioxx.

Shares of Merck jumped $4.03, or 8.7 percent in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The firm also raised its full-year 2007 outlook on Thursday, saying it expects earnings of $2.75 to $2.85 a share, higher than its previously stated range of $2.55 to $2.65.

Merck also anticipates first-quarter earnings of 84 cents a share, excluding charges associated with site closings and job cuts within the company.

Analysts had expected earnings of 64 cents a share, which would have been an 18 percent drop from last year's quarter, according to Thomson Financial.

The Whitehouse Station, N.J-based firm is expected to post its first-quarter results on April 19.