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

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

Let's start with Apogee (NASDAQ:APOG). The glass products specialist gave its dividend a 10% boost. Shareholders will now receive $0.074 per share every three months. It's not a surprise. Apogee inched its earnings guidance higher just two weeks earlier.

Shore Financial (NASDAQ:SHBK) is assisting its investors with meatier withdrawals. The company's new quarterly dividend rate of $0.08 a share is a 14% improvement. Aren't bank holding companies in a funk? Some players certainly aren't doing so well. Subprime concerns are everywhere. Shore Financial has posted lower earnings through the first half of the year. Pumping up its yield is either a sign of foolish pride or part of an upbeat outlook.

Compass Diversified Holdings (NASDAQ:CODI) is another hiker. The acquirer of middle market businesses is winning over income investors since going public last year. This past week's 8% spike in its quarterly distributions marks the company's second payout hike in its brief life as a publicly traded company.

Finally we have Hospitality Properties Trust (NYSE:HPT). The REIT that watches over 292 hotels and 186 travels center checked in with a modestly higher quarterly dividend of $0.77 a share, up $0.01 from its most recent 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? 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.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.