MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ U.S. Bancorp plans to repurchase up to $2.5 billion of its common stock.

The buyback amounts to about 62.5 million shares, or 8 percent of the company's outstanding shares as of March 31, based on the company's stock price Tuesday.

U.S. Bancorp said in a statement Tuesday it plans to complete the buyout by March 31, 2000.

U.S. Bancorp shares rose 12 1/2 cents to $40.12 1/2 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Companies use share buybacks to tighten the supply of their stock and increase earnings per share.

U.S. Bancorp was formed by the merger last year of Minneapolis-based First Bank System Inc. and Portland, Ore.-based U.S. Bancorp. The merged company has more than $70 billion in assets, making it the 15th-largest bank holding company in the nation with more than 1,000 banking offices in 17 states.

U.S. Bancorp has about 742.5 million common shares outstanding.