The fund took a relatively small $42 million position in the stodgy department store in the final three months of 2016, according to a 13F filing on Tuesday evening. The positions in 13F filings are current as of 45 days ago, so it is possible that Appaloosa has since altered its investment in J.C. Penney after the chain's lackluster holiday season.
Shares rose slightly in pre-market trading on Wednesday.
J.C. Penney said in early January that its comparable-store sales declined 0.8% during the nine-week holiday period, hurt by weakness in women's apparel. Despite the sales shortfall, J.C. Penney said the fourth quarter would mark the fourth consecutive period of positive operating profit. The company also reaffirmed its full-year EBITDA target of $1 billion for fiscal 2016.
Shares of J.C. Penney have crashed about 13% year to date, lagging the S&P 500's 4.4% gain.