Like way too many investors, you may be the type that disregards the impact of higher dividends on your portfolio. After all, you could simply pocket the change instead of reinvesting the proceeds. However, the very act of raising a payout is also indicative of the health and outlook of that particular company. If a company is being a little more generous with the money going out, it may be a little more optimistic about the money going in. 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 Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). The computer microprocessor giant hiked its quarterly dividend by 12.5%, to $0.1125 a share, and has also returned $8 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends since it began paying them out 14 years ago.

Another company sweetening the pot for its investors is Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (NASDAQ:RMCF). A 12% payout boost to $0.09 a share will now be going out to its investors every three months. The 2.5% yield bears watching, because the confectionary maker has actually raised its rate eight times over the past three years.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) was another hiker. The home improvement superstore chain built up its quarterly disbursements by a hearty 50% to $0.225, though it may seem like an odd candidate for spreading the wealth. Last week, it produced flat retail sales growth, blamed mainly on the housing slump. There's a glut of homes on the market, so contractors aren't in demand for more work, and even home remodeling projects have to be feeling the pinch, with higher home equity and refinancing rates (despite some recent relief on that front).

However, Home Depot is certainly good for the money. If this is just one more step toward transforming itself from a 1990s growth stock darling into a high-yielding, value-investing bulwark, then that is also a building project worth investigating.

Then we have BorgWarner (NYSE:BWA). This maker of automobile powertrains may be quite familiar to some around Fooldom. Tom Gardner recommended the stock in 2003 to Stock Advisor newsletter subscribers. Despite toiling away in the seemingly fickle -- and cyclical -- car sector, the shares have more than doubled since Tom singled them out. The quarterly dividend is going up a penny to $0.17 a share. It may not seem like much, but BorgWarner has now raised its distribution rate for five consecutive years.

Subscribers to the Income Investor newsletter can appreciate the companies sending 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 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 in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. Intel and Home Depot are both Inside Value selections. The Fool has adisclosure policy.