Perhaps to reduce the shock of bad news, J.C. Penney (OTC:JCPN.Q) has released several preliminary figures in advance of its Q1 results announcement. For the quarter, the company expects total sales of roughly $2.64 billion, or 16.4% lower than the $3.15 it posted in Q1 2012. Comparable sales are anticipated to have slipped by 16.6% over that time frame.

As for the balance sheet, the firm said it believes cash and cash equivalents will end up at around $821 million, against total debt of $3.82 billion.

In the press release unveiling the numbers, J.C. Penney said that this was due to some extent to its "prior pricing and marketing strategies, which are being changed under new leadership."

The company is scheduled to release its Q1 results on the afternoon of May 16.