A dividend check is more than just a piece of paper that can be exchanged for cash at the bank. It can also be a snapshot of financial health when a company is confident enough to boost its distribution level. Readers of the Income Investor newsletter can certainly appreciate that kind of thinking.

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

We can start with CBS (NYSE:CBS). The company -- which began trading back in January after Viacom (NYSE:VIA) complete its asset split -- is already establishing a welcome trend by propping up its quarterly rate by 11% to $0.20 a share.

Investors were sold on the notion that Viacom would be the faster growing entity, while the CBS appendage would produce slower growth spurts but produce a higher yield. They shouldn't be disappointed on that front. Last week's move is actually the third time that the company has jacked up its dividend since January's emancipation.

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) is also concocting a headier distribution. The bromine specialist will now be paying its shareholders $0.18 a share every three months instead of $0.165 a stub. If Albermarle's move feels familiar, it's because the company has pumped up its payout for a dozen consecutive years.

Supermarket chain Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) continued to defy the sector's gravity with another annual hike in its quarterly dividend rate. Sure, the step up that Supervalu is taking is a fractional one. We're splitting pennies to get from $0.1625 to $0.165 a share. However, these small increases do add up over time, since we can go back seven years to the company's $0.135 payout rate and appreciate the 22% advance in a grocery store space that has had its share of setbacks in that time.

Then we have Bob Evans Farms (NASDAQ:BOBE) bringing home the bacon. The company behind 590 casual dining "comfort food" restaurants and a recognized brand in retail pork products went whole hog with a 17% increase in its dividend. Investors will now be cashing in on a $0.14 a share feast that translated into a meaty 2% yield.

Subscribers to the 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. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.The Fool has a disclosure policy.