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's easing up on its pocketbook probably has improving fundamentals to back up that generosity.

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'll start with Income Investor recommendation CapitalSource (NYSE:CSE). The commercial lender made this weekly column last month, when it agreed to acquire banking outfit TierOne (NASDAQ:TONE) just two days after TierOne boosted its dividend. Well, CapitalSource is a hiker, too! The company announced that its quarterly distribution would climb by 3% to $0.60 per share.

Then we have H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) providing a welcome taxing dilemma for investors owning a piece of the company in taxable accounts. The tax accounting giant bumped up its quarterly dividend by 6% to $0.1425 per share.

It's true that H&R Block has had its share of challenges lately. From messing up its own taxes to recently unloading its subprime mortgage business, the company is still willing to reward its shareowners with fatter disbursements until it catches a break.

Alesco Financial (NYSE:AFN) is another hiker. The REIT's new quarterly dividend is going up by 3% to $0.31 a share. Yes, even the downtrodden real estate sector still has companies that can afford to squeeze more out of their operations.

Finally, we have Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ:WERN) trucking along with a fatter yield. The truckload specialist's new quarterly payout is $0.05 per share. It may be just a nickel, but it's an 11% increase from its prior dividend rate.

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.