Target will stop offering coverage for part-timers

Target Corp. says it will no longer be offering health care coverage for its part-time workers.

The discounter is citing new options now available through health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.

Target, based in Minneapolis, said the majority of its part-time workers who have been eligible for its health care insurance coverage don’t enroll. In fact, less than 10 percent of its total employees of 361,000 take advantage of the part-time plan. It said it will stop covering the part-time workers on April 1.

Other large employers including UPS are scaling back health coverage by dropping spouses from their employee plans if they are able to get insurance through another employer.

Target also said Wednesday that it was laying off 475 workers across its operations. Over the past six months it has closed about 700 open positions across the chain.

Icahn boosts Apple stake, continues pushing for cash

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn boosted his stake in Apple to $3 billion, adding to one of his biggest holdings as he continues to push the iPhone maker to buy back more stock.

Icahn said he purchased $500 million worth of shares in the past two weeks, in one of three Twitter messages Wednesday. He said an in-depth letter is coming soon on the company’s need to repurchase more shares.

“There’s nothing wrong with the management of Apple,” Icahn said Wednesday. “I just think that the board is just plain wrong in not taking advantage of a very undervalued situation at Apple and not using that capital.”

At $3 billion, Icahn owns less than 1 percent of the Cupertino, Calif.-based company. Icahn, 77, first disclosed his Apple stake in a tweet on Aug. 13, when the stock was trading at about $468. The shares have since gained 19 percent. Icahn, who has become a billionaire by buying stakes in companies and then publicly pushing for changes to boost the stock, has been pressuring Apple to return cash to shareholders for the past five months.

Before Icahn’s involvement, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a plan for a total of $100 billion in dividends and buybacks.

– From news service reports