As far as dividends go, more is usually better than less. As long as a company has the flexibility to pay more without sacrificing its operations, hiking a dividend rate is a healthy sign of a company that sees a future bright enough to keep up with the more generous distributions. 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 Blyth (NYSE:BTH). The company's semiannual dividend was raised from $0.23 a share to $0.27 a share. With no relation to Arrested Development's Bluth Corporation, Blyth toils away making home decor and fragrances. Blyth may not make a money-scented candle, but this is actually the third time it has upped its distribution since the beginning of last year. It may be a contagious trend. as rival Lancaster Colony (NASDAQ:LANC) has increased its dividend for 43 consecutive years.

Village Super Market (NASDAQ:VLGEA) also checked out with a little more change. The retailer behind the ShopRite grocery store chain gave its quarterly payout a 12% boost to $0.28 a share.

Umpqua Holdings (NASDAQ:UMPQ) was another hiker. The community banker is hoping to stir interest in more than just its savings accounts with a 50% spike in its quarterly dividend, to $0.18 a share.

Stephen Simpson took a closer look at Umpqua earlier this summer. He was impressed by many of the financial service provider's achievements, save for a disappointing return on equity (ROE).

Then we have Highland Hospitality (NYSE:HIH). I tend to look beyond real estate investment trusts in this weekly column, because that's a high-yielding space where dividend hikes are pretty much the norm. I'll make an exception this time, because Highland just initiated a $0.16 a share payout rate back in March and it has gone on to announce two higher distributions. Investors in the REIT that watches over 25 hotel properties will now be receiving $0.19 a share every three months.

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 likes these days? Go ahead and 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. 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.