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 easing up on its purse strings 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 baked-goods specialist Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO). The company behind bread brands Nature's Own, Sunbeam, and Cobblestone Mill kept its quarterly distribution at $0.125, even after announcing a 3-for-2 stock split during Friday's annual shareholder meeting. In other words, it's the equivalent of a 50% spike in its yield, since shareholders will own 50% more shares.

Anticipation is more than just the old Carly Simon tune that once helped promote H.J. Heinz (NYSE:HNZ) and its slow-rolling ketchup. It's also something that payout-hungry investors might sing as they wait for their next dividend hike. Heinz has come through, ever since spinning off Del Monte Foods (NYSE:DLM) in 2002. Its latest boost expands the quarterly disbursement by 8.5%, to $0.38 per share. Heinz is one of the most veteran Income Investor recommendations.

Rogers Communications (NYSE:RG) was another hiker. Canada's largest wireless and cable television provider more than tripled its quarterly distribution, to $0.125 per share. That's in Canadian dollars, but it's a 213% yield boost all the same.

Knight Transportation (NYSE:KNX) and its 18-wheelers are also picking up speed. The truckload carrier's new dividend is just $0.03 per share every three months, but that still represents a 50% improvement over its previous rate.

Subscribers to Income Investor can appreciate 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'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 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.