After activist investor Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management said he expects to make 15 to 20 times his investment in beleaguered Plano, Texas-based retail giant J.C. Penney Company Incorporated (NYSE: JCP), the shares on Thursday hit a 10-day high.

This was a respite from a series of hits the company has taken in the past week. The stock was trading in late afternoon action at $20.60, up 4.52 percent, after a transcript of Ackman's comments were made at CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference on Wednesday.

The retailer recently lost a battle with Cincinnati, Ohio-based Macy's Incorporated (NYSE: M) over a deal to sell certain products by New York City's Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Incorporated (NYSE: MSO). The New York City Supreme Court granted Macy's and preliminary injunction last Friday blocking the deal, saying the suit favors Macy's.

The company has been trying to reinvent itself under the leadership of CEO Ron Johnson who was plucked from Apple Incorporated(Nasdaq: AAPL) where as vice president of retail he pioneered the company's Genius Bar concept. However, his moves with Penney so far have failed to impress the market. The company has lost about 40 percent of its stock value since the start of the year.

On Wednesday, Johnson pledged to move forward with his strategy, which includes introducing more efficient RDIF tags on merchandise items by the end of next year and putting Wi-Fi in the stores.