During the third quarter, the Company opened 55 stores located in Apple Valley, CA; Athens, GA; Baltimore, MD; Battle Creek, MI; Bay Shore, NY; Brentwood, MO; Carbondale, IL; Chicago, IL (2); Cincinnati, OH; Douglasville, GA; El Paso, TX; Epping, NH; Erie, PA; Flint, MI; Fremont, CA; Gretna, LA; Holland, OH; Houston, TX; Issaquah, WA; Jackson, MI; Jonesboro, AR; Kansas City, MO; Lakewood, CA; Lansing, MI; Lima, OH; Littleton, CO; Madison, WI; Mansfield, TX; Marquette, MI; Massapequa Park, NY; Midland, MI; Midvale, UT; Missoula, MT; Moreno Valley, CA; Muncie, IN; Nashville, TN; New Braunfels, TX; Niles, OH; North Olmstead, OH; Overland Park, KS; Paducah, KY; Plainville, CT; Portland, OR; Rapid City, SD; River Forest, IL; Salisbury, NC; Smithfield, RI; Southaven, MS; Terre Haute, IN; Vancouver, WA; Victor, NY; Virginia Beach, VA; Washington, MO and West Hills, CA; and relocated 3 stores in Exton, PA, Oxnard, CA and Vernon Hills, IL. The Company ended the third quarter with 664 stores and square footage of 7,046,000, which represents a 24% increase in square footage compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2012.
For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, the Company currently expects net sales in the range of $853 million to $867 million, compared to actual net sales of $758.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, which included $40 million of sales for the 53 rd week. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of 2013 are expected to increase 7% to 9%, including the impact of e-commerce sales. This comparable store sales guidance includes the favorable impacts of the comparison to the disruption caused by Superstorm Sandy in Q4 of 2012, and the exclusion of the 53 rd week of 2012, which together are expected to benefit comparable store sales by approximately 200 basis points. The Company reported a comparable store sales increase of 8.6% in the fourth quarter of 2012, including the impact of e-commerce sales.Income per diluted share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 is estimated to be in the range of $1.07 to $1.10. This compares to income per diluted share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 of $1.00, which included a $0.05 impact related to the 53 rd week. Earnings per share guidance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 is lower than previous expectations, primarily as a result of softer retail sales trends at the end of the third quarter which are expected to continue, as well as the Company’s plans to maintain strong market share gains during a highly competitive and promotional holiday selling season. Based on expected performance for the second half of the year, the Company plans to achieve an earnings growth rate in the low 20% range for the full year 2013, adjusted for the 53rd week last year, compared to our previous expectation of approximately 25% growth. The Company plans to achieve full year comparable store sales in the range of 7% to 8%, and capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $225 million. The Company expects to achieve 22% square footage growth with the opening of 125 net new stores and 7 remodeled stores. For fiscal 2013, the Company expects to continue to generate free cash flow.