I love to kick off the new trading week by taking a quick peek at companies that have just hiked their dividends. It's not just about the money. A company that is easing up on its pocketbook probably has improving fundamentals to back up that generosity.

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'll start with a dip in the Pool (NASDAQ:POOL). The swimming pool and backyard recreational products specialist is making a splash with a 14% boost in its quarterly distributions. Shareholders will now be receiving $0.12 a share every three months.

You won't need one of the company's gas masks to breathe in the news out of Mine Safety (NYSE:MSA). The company's quarterly dividend is climbing 22% higher to $0.22 a share. The Hidden Gems newsletter recommendation is now yielding 2.1%.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (NASDAQ:RMCF) also sweetened the pot. The retailer of gourmet chocolate treats is bumping up its payout by a penny, to $0.10 a share. It may not seem like much, but it's actually the ninth time that the company has upped its dividend since 2003.

E.W. Scripps (NYSE:SSP) is our last hiker. The media company -- with interests in television stations, newspaper publications, and cable properties like HGTV and the Food Network -- has a recipe to feed investors. The company's quarterly disbursements are going up by 17% to $0.14 a share. When you think of struggling print media specialists and lethargic broadcasters, this dividend hike is news worth writing about.  

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. The Fool has a disclosure policy.