Novo Nordisk A/S  (NVO - Get Report)  shares surged to a seven-month high Wednesday after the world's biggest maker of insulin posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings and boosted its full-year outlook.

Novo Nordisk said sales for the three months ending in March rose 5% to Dkr28.5 billion ($4.2 billion), beating the FactSet compiled consensus of Drk27.9 billion. Operating profit for the quarter was also ahead of expectations, rising 10% to Dkr13.5 billion.

The group also raised the lower portion of its full-year operating profit forecast range by around one percentage point to between -1% and +3% compared for a previous estimate of -2% to +3%.

"With the performance in the first three months, we are well on track towards our targets for 2017," said CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen. "Sales were driven by our new, innovative products within diabetes and obesity care, and we are seeing the effects of our cost control initiatives, enabling us to invest in future growth opportunities."

Group sales of the company's suite of insulin products were marked at Dkr16.386 billion for the quarter, the company said, up 9% from the first three months of 2016. NovoRapid, its best-selling treatment, saw sales rise 15% to Dkr5.3 billion.

Novo Nordisk shares rose more than 7% by noon in Copenhagen to change hands at Dkr282.8 each, the highest since late September, extending their year-to-date gain to around 10% compared to a 7.24% advance the Stoxx Europe TMI Pharmaceuticals benchmark.

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