Hedge fund in talks with Target on board seats

Associated Press – Activist hedge fund manager William Ackman is in talks with Target Corp. about naming potential directors to the discount retailer’s board, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Thursday.

Target shares gained 61 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $28.43 in aftermarket electronic trading, after gaining 23 cents to close the regular session at $27.82. The stock has lost about half of its value since peaking at $59.55 in September before the market meltdown.

In recent months, Target Corp. has suffered from a drop in consumer spending, while other discount chains — particularly rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. — have outperformed. While Wal-Mart concentrates on offering low-price essentials, Target has focused more on a cheap-chic variety of more discretionary items like clothing and home decor.

On Tuesday, Target reported that its fourth-quarter profit fell 41 percent.

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