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 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 over the past week.

Let's start with Snap-On (NYSE:SNA). The toolmaker is building a better dividend, now paying its shareholders $0.30 a share every three months, an 11% improvement from its previous rate. The Income Investor recommendation has been paying dividends since 1939, although this is only the second time the company has upped the ante over the past five years.

Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) also erected a higher yield. The company's semi-annual distribution is climbing 43% to $0.50 a share. That's a substantial move, especially since the company toils away in the real estate money management and services markets.

Isn't the real estate market in trouble? It is, though Jones Lang LaSalle's niche offerings and global presence have made it immune to the malaise. In fact, revenues and operating profits climbed 35% and 73% higher, respectively, this past quarter.

Perrigo (NASDAQ:PRGO) is another hiker. The drugmaker is inching its quarterly disbursements 11% higher to $0.05 a share. Pharmaceutical companies have become compelling plays for income investors with fat yields on companies like Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) at 4.9%, GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) at 4.2%, and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) at 3.9%.

Perrigo isn't anywhere near those names -- yielding just 0.7% at the moment -- but at least it's trying.

Finally, we have Vectren (NYSE:VVC) powering up its payout. The company's new quarterly dividend of $0.325 a share is just $0.01 per share higher, but there's something special about this energy company. Vectren has now increased its distributions in each of the past 48 years. Now that is what I call renewable energy!

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.

Snap-On and GlaxoSmithKline are Income Investor stock picks. Pfizer is an Inside Value selection.

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 part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.