Do you stop at yield signs? Income investors do. Even if you don't, paying attention to companies pumping up their dividends can be a lucrative endeavor, since the announcements are usually coming from companies that are feeling pretty confident about their future. Readers of the Motley Fool 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 Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFMI). The organic grocer may have disappointed investors with its lukewarm growth forecast last week, but as long as it keeps going in the right direction, those dividend checks will keep heading higher. The Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation is raising its quarterly dividend by 20%, to $0.18 a share. It's the fourth hike since Whole Foods initiated a payout policy three years ago.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) was also serving up bigger portions. The restaurateur behind the Chili's and Macaroni Grill concepts is following a well-received fiscal first-quarter performance with a 35% boost in its distributions, to $0.135 every three months. In Chili's terms, that would be called an Awesome Blossom.

Cherokee (NASDAQ:CHKE) was another hiker. The apparel-licensing specialist tried on a larger dividend, and it fits great. Ramping up its quarterly payout by 25% to $0.75 props up that yield to a whopping 7.6%. Impressive? You bet, but it's even more impressive that Cherokee has grown its dividend five times since the spring of 2004.

Juan Mann may be the viral video celebrity handing out free hugs, but Manpower (NYSE:MAN) is handing out bigger dividend checks. That's better than a hug, methinks, though I may have eclectic tastes when it comes to cuddling up with paper checks. The employment-services provider is ratcheting up its semiannual payout by 19% to $0.32 a share.

Income Investor subscribers can appreciate the companies that send more and more money to their investors. The newsletter singles out companies that are committed to growing their distributions, with market-thumping results.

Want to see what is being recommended these days? Go ahead and give the 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 in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.