It's been said that more money is better than less money. In fact, it's probably been said often. But does that apply to dividends? Probably. Companies that ratchet up their dividends are doing so because they feel comfortable giving more money back to their shareholders. More often than not, it's a win-win situation.

Let's take a closer look at four of the companies that inched their payouts higher last week.

We'll start with Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI). The metered-mail giant will now be paying its investors $0.32 a share every quarter. It may be a mere penny from its previous payout, but it makes this the 24th straight year in which Pitney Bowes has hiked its dividend.

The company is coming off another quarter of steady and measured growth, and that's bliss for an income investor looking to see distributions nudging their way higher year after year. It's one of the reasons why Pitney Bowes was one of the earlier recommendations in the Inside Value newsletter two years ago.

Sabre Holdings (NYSE:TSG) also flew its payout higher. Investors will now be getting $0.10 a share every quarter, an 11% improvement. Sabre runs the computerized travel reservation system of choice for many travel agencies. It has also applied that technological expertise on its Travelocity.com site -- an online portal that rivals Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) for dot-com supremacy.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) was another hiker. Shareholders can put up with the annoying Aflac duck -- no offense, Gilbert Gottfried -- as long as those dividend checks keep coming in. The insurance specialist will now be paying a quarterly dividend of $0.13 a share, two pennies better than its previous installment.

Then we have Brookfield Homes (NYSE:BHS). Even though the housing sector may feel a bit shaky as we enter 2006 -- with higher interest rates and housing starts cooling off -- at least one homebuilder is willing to bet that it won't end badly. Brookfield pays a semiannual dividend, and it will grow from $0.16 to $0.20 a share when it's doled out in June. The company should be good for it. Earnings last year soared from $4.64 to $7.04 a share.

Subscribers to our Income Investor newsletter can appreciate the companies sending more and more money to their investors. Analyst Mathew Emmert has often singled out companies that are committed to growing their distributions with market-thumping results.

Want to see what Mathew's liking these days? Go ahead and give his newsletter service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing that will get hiked will be your interest.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz pays attention to yield signs. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.