Delta Air Lines Inc. will buy back up to $750 million of its stock.

The buyback, which will occur over the next 18 months, represents about 7.1 percent of Delta's shares outstanding. The company had about 75.7 million shares outstanding as of April 30.Companies use buybacks to boost earnings per share by reducing shares outstanding.

The nation's third-largest airline also said it will split its stock 2-for-1. If approved by shareholders, the stock split would increase the number of shares outstanding to 151.4 million, halving the value of a share. The new shares would be issued around Nov. 16 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 2.