With Target's outlook brightening, board fight could be off the table

Activist investor's William Ackman's fight against Target Corp. (TGT) just got tougher.

Like other retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), Saks Inc. (SKS) and Macy's Inc. (M), the discount retailer reported better-than-expected earnings yesterday. Earnings at the Minnesota-based company fell to $522 million, or 69 cents per share, from $602 million, or 74 cents a year earlier. Sales gained 0.4 percent in the first quarter to $14.4 billion. The results surpassed the 59 cent profit and $14.81 billion in revenue estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Target did not give any forward guidance. The stock is up over four percent in early trading.