JCPenney said it will sell 84 million shares of stock in a secondary offering.
Shares fell 5 percent following the news. (What's the stock doing now? Click here for the latest after-hours quote.)
The retailer said it would use the proceeds for general corporate purposes.
Penney shares fell 15 percent on Wednesday after Goldman Sachs said it expects the retailer's sales to improve more slowly than expected. The stock rebounded slightly Thursday.
The cost for insurance against a J.C. Penney default has shot back to near record-high levels over the last week.
The company, which has a "CCC " credit rating from Standard & Poor's, reflecting a substantial risk in owning its debt, has about $2.6 billion of outstanding bonds.
The company's benchmark 5-year credit default swap contract price surged by more than 13 percent on Wednesday, according to Markit data.
The cost to insure $10 million of J.C. Penney bonds against a default for five years now requires an upfront payment of about $2.2 million plus quarterly payments of about $300,000 for the duration of the contract. The contract's pricing reflects a default probability of nearly 65 percent.