I love to kick off the new trading week by looking at companies that have just raised their dividends. A company that's easing up on its pocketbook probably has improving fundamentals to back up that generosity.

Readers of the Income Investor newsletter service can 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.

We'll start by shopping around with TJX (NYSE:TJX). The retailer behind the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls chains is boosting its quarterly distributions by 22% to $0.11 a share. Despite weakness at many apparel-intensive concepts, TJX actually bucked the trend by posting positive comps for February.

Retailers may be in for a challenging road, but that hasn't stopped chains such as Gap (NYSE:GPS), Foot Locker (NYSE:FL), and Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) from returning more of their greenbacks to investors.

H.B. Fuller (NYSE:FUL) is also sticking to a meatier payout. The specialty chemical maker's new quarterly dividend of $0.066 a share is a 2% improvement over its previous rate. The move was in line with the 3% improvement in earnings from continuing operations posted earlier in the week.

CastlePoint Holdings (NASDAQ:CPHL) is another dividend booster. The insurance specialist doubled its quarterly disbursements to $0.05 a share. That may not seem like a lot of pocket change, but have you seen what money market funds are paying these days? The move leaves CastlePoint's yield clocking in at a competitive 1.9%.

Finally, we have A. Schulman (NASDAQ:SHLM) turning plastic into paper. The plastics giant is recycling its dividend 4% higher to $0.15 a share. The increase came just hours before the company's adjusted net income blew past Wall Street's expectations in its fiscal second quarter.

Subscribers to Income Investor can appreciate the companies that send more and more money to their investors. The newsletter service singles out companies that are committed to growing their distributions with market-thumping results.

Want to see what's being recommended these days? 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.