NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- The general theme for solar earnings season is set. The soaring demand levels across the solar supply chain in 2010 is the main thrust for what is expected to be a healthy earnings season for solar stocks.

Even the euro depreciation fears -- which crippled the sector for more than a month and has the potential to present some negative headlines in the second quarter reports - have died down and solar demand again become the big mover for these stocks which have rallied over the past month.

This earnings season is, from at least one important respect, similar to the year-end 2009 earnings from the solar sector. Earnings is always as much about the outlook as it is about the printed earnings numbers, however, in that year-end 2009 period, outlook took precedence over earnings, with analysts and investors zeroing in on fears that the second half of 2010 would cripple solar as Germany looked to reduce feed-in tariffs.

The German plan was delayed, and the fears of a demand depression in the second half of 2010 were delayed along with the German political tangle. In the end, though, those fears have simply been pushed back to 2011.

>>German Solar Data: the Good, the Bad, the Fearful

The shifting sentiment of fear that clings to the solar sector like an albatross with silicon wings hasn't let go its grip. This means that as solar earnings start to be released, and some impressive numbers hit the headlines, analysts and investors may be more focused on visibility on 2011 demand, and whether or not oversupply is set to hit the boom and bust solar industry.

This dilemma for solar investors isn't new, and it's a theme that defines the solar sector, but can also obscure the very different challenges of individual solar companies.

Take the U.S. solar stocks, for example. The first two reports are on deck for after the market close Thursday, from

First Solar

(FSLR) - Get Report

and

MEMC Electronic Materials

(WFR)

.

Evergreen Solar

( ESLR) will report next Tuesday.

First Solar is capable of impressing with its printed earnings number, as it has done on many occasions in the past. It's never been about generating earnings for First Solar, but about valuation, margin profile, and the future business outlook.

Jefferies recently launched coverage on the solar sector and told investors to sit tight on U.S. solar stocks including First Solar, saying that there would be a better time to buy in.

>>Sit Tight on U.S. Solar Stocks: Jefferies

MEMC is attempting to rebound from a history of earnings disappointments.

Evergreen Solar is bound by fears of bankruptcy, and this week had to receive shareholder approval for a reverse split of its stock. Evergreen faces de-listing from the Nasdaq if its share price can't climb above $1 for 10 consecutive days before Dec. 28, and it needs the bad press reverse split strategy in its toolkit to avoid that fate if its shares can't get above a buck.

These three U.S. solar stocks represent the full range of solar stories, from the leading story to the laggard, from the "bound to have another good quarter," to the "rebounding" and "bound by fears of de-listing and bankruptcy."

With this in mind,

TheStreet

takes a look at the numbers behind the earnings on deck for the three U.S. solar stocks set to report, starting on Thursday after the close of the market.

Consensus EPS Estimate:

$1.61 earnings per share

Range of EPS Estimates:

$1.04 to $2.01

First Quarter 2010 EPS:

$2 earnings per share (outperformed Street consensus of $1.64)

Consensus Revenue:

$543 million

50-Day Moving Average:

$123.90

Share Price Gain or Loss on Day of Last Earnings:

$22 (gain)

Lowest Share Price Since Last Earnings:

$103.07 (June 9)

Highest Share Price Since Last Earnings:

$150.87 (April 29, day after earnings report)

Short Interest as % of Float:

23%/12.5 million shares (as of July 15, unchanged from previous month)

MEMC Electronic Materials

Consensus Estimate:

9 cents earnings per share

Range of EPS Estimates:

3 cents to 18 cents

First Quarter 2010 EPS:

loss of 4 cents (compared to Street consensus of 5 cent gain)

Consensus Revenue:

$466 million

50-Day Moving Average:

$10.79

Share Price Gain or Loss on Day of Last Earnings:

$3 (loss)

Lowest Share Price Since Last Earnings:

$9.68 (July 6)

Highest Share Price Since Last Earnings:

$12.03 (July 26)

Short Interest as % of Float:

12.7%/24.5 million shares (as of July 15, a more than one million share decrease from previous month)

Evergreen Solar

Consensus Estimate:

loss of 11 cents per share

Range of EPS Estimates:

loss of 8 cents to loss of 13 cents

First Quarter 2010 EPS:

loss of 12 cents (3 cents worse than consensus)

Consensus Revenue

: $79.5 million

50-Day Moving Average:

74 cents

Share Price Gain or Loss on Day of Last Earnings:

4 cent (loss)

Lowest Share Price Since Last Earnings:

62 cents (July 2)

Highest Share Price Since Last Earnings:

$1.11 (May 5, day after earnings)

Short Interest as % of Float:

13%/27 million shares (as of July 15, unchanged from previous month)

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.

RELATED STORIES:

>>German Solar Data: the Good, the Bad, the Fearful

>>Waltons Sell More Shares of First Solar

>>Solar Winners: a Bullish Solarfun

>>Sit Tight on U.S. Solar Stocks: Jefferies

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