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

Readers of our Income Investor newsletter service can certainly appreciate that kind of thinking. Let's take a closer look at four of the companies that inched their payouts higher over the past week.

Let's start with Fortune Brands (NYSE:FO). The conglomerate that dabbles in everything from hard liquor to golf gear is no stranger to lofty distributions. The company has increased its dividend every single year since it began trading as Fortune Brands 11 years ago. This past week's 8% boost finds the quarterly disbursements coming out at $0.42 per share.

Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN), the market-share leader in GPS gear, is jacking up its quarterly payout by 50% to $0.75 per share. The company is a Stock Advisor recommendation.

Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) is another strong-armed hiker. The company behind the Arm & Hammer consumer products improved its dividend by 14%. Shareholders will now be getting $0.08 per share every three months.

Then we have Carlisle (NYSE:CSL). The construction and industrial-equipment specialist's new quarterly payout is $0.145 per share. The company has now increased its dividend 31 years in a row.

Subscribers to the Income Investor newsletter service 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 to get a boost 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.