Dividends may not seem like much -- until you find yourself buying into a company with a knack for hiking its payouts. Over time, those quarterly disbursements may grow to far more than your initial outlay. Of course, it's not all about the near-term greenery. Companies that hike their dividends are also likely to boast improving fundamentals, too. That's a good thing, even if you're not an income investor.

Lets take a closer look at four companies that inched their payouts higher this past week.

We'll start with Hasbro (NYSE:HAS). The toymaker raised its quarterly dividend by 33% to $0.12 per share. It should not come as much of a surprise here. Earlier this month, Hasbro had come in ahead of analyst profit targets during the seasonally potent holiday quarter. The weakness in its trading-card business was offset by strength in its Star Wars playthings and the rebirth of Furby.

Hasbro has served Motley Fool Stock Advisor readers well, rising by 39% since its selection by David Gardner nearly three years ago.

FPL Group (NYSE:FPL) also put a little more power in its payout. The utility company's generous quarterly dividend will grow from $0.375 to $0.395 per share next month. I'll admit that I wasn't much of a fan of FPL back in November. The company's poor planning rendered my home powerless for more than two weeks through Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma last year.

Then again, FPL went on to be justifiably blasted by Florida politicos, so it should be more responsive during what it is likely to be another active storm season in 2006. FPL also helped offset that emphasis in December, when it announced plans to merge with Constellation Energy (NYSE:CEG) to create what it considers to be the country's largest competitive energy supplier. More power? Yes. More pocket change to shareholders? Absolutely.

3M (NYSE:MMM) was another hiker. The company behind Post-It Notes and Scotchgard fabric protection will now be paying investors $0.46 a share every three months. That's four pennies better than its former dividend, and the upticks are par for the course for this Motley Fool Inside Value stock recommendation. 3M has now grown its distributions for 48 consecutive years.

Then we have Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), another pick from Philip Durell's Inside Value newsletter service. The pop star's quarterly payout is fizzing 11% higher, to $0.31 per share. Coke had no problem paying out $2.7 billion in dividends last year, nor spending another $2 billion to buy back shares.

Subscribers to our Motley Fool Income Investor newsletter can appreciate companies that send more and more money to their investors. Analyst Mathew Emmert has often singled out market-thumping companies committed to growing their distributions.

Want to see what Mathew's liking these days? Give his newsletter service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing to 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. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.