Show me a company that is propping up its dividend, and I'll show you a company worth watching. It's not about the extra money; it's about a company confident enough in its future earnings potential to be a bit more generous today.

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

First of all, casual-dining chain Ruby Tuesday (NYSE:RI) has meatier yields on the menu. Comfortable that its turnaround plan is complete and its profit power sustainable, its semiannual dividend will go from a meager $0.0225 per share to a whopping $0.25 a share every six months. It's a substantial move, with the restaurateur's yield going from 0.2% to a respectable 2.3%.

Engine specialist Cummins (NYSE:CMI) was another one that powered up its payout. Investors are getting a 20% boost with the company's new $0.36-per-share quarterly dividend. They're probably smiling for other reasons, too. Even with a tenuous market, shares of Cummins are up 50% over the past year and have appreciated sixfold since bottoming out four years ago.

A.O. Smith (NYSE:AOS) was another hiker. The maker of electric motors and water heating equipment that used to pay its owners $0.16 a share every quarter has raised its distribution by a penny. Despite acquisitive pursuits in related sectors, A.O. Smith remains a swinging single with a reasonable market valuation. Patient investors will now have the extra pocket change to see things through.

Then we have Walgreen (NYSE:WAG). The drugstore operator prescribed a stronger dosage of its dividend. Shareholders will now be receiving $0.0775 per share every three months. That is a 19% improvement from its previous payout. Those who have a stake in the pharmacy giant shouldn't be surprised by the move. Walgreen has been announcing hikes for 31 consecutive years.

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. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.