I love to kick off the new trading week by taking a quick peek at companies that have just raised their dividends. It's not just about the money. A company that is paying out more to investors probably has improving fundamentals to back up that generosity.

Readers of the Fool's 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'll start with TJX (NYSE:TJX). The discounter behind chains such as TJMaxx and Marshalls gave its quarterly dividend a 29% boost to $0.09 per share. Despite the bad publicity generated earlier this year over the hackers who accessed shopper data, TJX feels comfortable in paying out a little more, as well as aggressively buying back shares.

The pennies are also stocking up at Costco (NASDAQ:COST). The warehouse giant loves to serve up wares in large sizes, but smaller portions added to its distributions will do just fine. This Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter pick's new quarterly payout is $0.145, 12% higher than the old rate.

Williams (NYSE:WMB) is another hiker. The natural-gas specialist is tacking a penny per share to its dividend to make it a nice, round $0.10 every three months. It may not seem like much, but this is the fourth time that Williams has propped up its payout in fewer than three years.

Then we have LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO). Watching over 31 high-end hotels has its benefits: The company is declaring a 21% improvement in its monthly distribution rate. Shareholders will now be getting $0.17 per share every month, lifting its yield to an impressive 4.3%.

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

Want to see what's 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 raised 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.