MINNEAPOLIS -- A financial analyst has estimated that Dart Group Inc. made up to $20 million profit by selling Dayton Hudson Corp. stock in June, when the price rose on takeover speculation.

According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dart, which is based in Landover, Md., purchased 2.5 million shares of Dayton Hudson stock in late May and early June.

Dart sold nearly 2 million shares the week of June 21, according to the SEC filings.

The Star Tribune reported Saturday that Dart "apparently bought big blocks of stock at prices of less than $50 per share and sold much of it for more than $55 per share."

"They probably averaged $10 a share profit, or $20 million" during that week, estimated Dick Pyle, retail analyst at Piper Jaffray & Hopwood of Minneapolis.

Dart President Robert Haft declined to comment on the transactions, citing SEC restrictions involving the filing of proxy materials.

He said the company stood by past statements that it intends to buy and operate Dayton Hudson.

Dart's filing with the SEC lists only the number of shares it bought and sold, not transaction prices.

Dart recently offered $68 a share, or $6.62 billion, to take control of the Minneapolis-based Dayton Hudson, a giant retailer.

Dayton Hudson's board of directors earlier rejected a $65-per-share offer.

Dayton Hudson chairman Kenneth Macke has said the renewed bid is not substantially different from the first one.

Dart, which is controlled by Washington's Haft family, has filed preliminary proxy materials with the SEC to solicit the votes of shareholders of Dayton Hudson to call a special shareholders' meeting to vote on whether to remove the retailer's board of directors.