In the following video, Joel South reviews three important issues that investors need to watch regarding Energy Transfer Partners.

First, distributions. The company pays a 7.6% distribution yield, but the rate hasn't increased since 2008. The company should see revenue growth from its Sunoco acquisition and its $3.1 billion buildout since 2010, and distribution growth should follow.

Second, fee-based contracts. This type of agreement has a customer leasing pipelines from ETP, insuring cash flow and, in turn, lowering borrowing costs. ETP hasn't been effective in this area in the past. Watch to see whether management improves corporate cash flow with this sort of leasing term going forward.

Third, Sunoco's contribution. In theory, Sunoco should increase cash flow and earnings by giving ETP exposure to Eagle Ford shale oil and Utica and Marcellus shale gas.

Joel South and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.