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

Readers of the Income Investor newsletter can certainly 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 Tanger Outlet Centers (NYSE: SKT). The company behind more than two dozen namesake malls that specialize in retailer clearance outlets boosted its annual dividend by almost 6% to $1.52 a share. Thrifty times call for thrifty shopping. Tanger has now boosted its dividend in each of the past 15 years.

Lake Shore Bancorp (Nasdaq: LSBK) is also banking on bigger withdrawals. The parent of New York's Lake Shore Savings Bank is boosting its quarterly payout by 25% to $0.05 a share. The new 2.1% yield may not seem like much, but it's more than the interest-bearing rate for the bank's passbook savings accounts and nearly as much as its short-term CD rates.

Kayne Anderson Energy Development (NYSE: KED) is another hiker. The closed-end fund that snaps up stakes in energy companies is giving its quarterly disbursements a slight 1% boost, to $0.415 a share.

I don't typically cover closed-end funds in this column, but with companies such as Gatehouse Media (NYSE: GHS), Kenneth Cole (NYSE: KCP), and Citigroup (NYSE: C) slashing their dividends this year, my pickings are getting slim some weeks.

Finally, we have Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) providing a predictable hike. The conglomerate's new quarterly dividend is 14% higher at $0.40 a share. Predictable? Well, the company has raised its payout for 52 consecutive years now. That puts it Head and Shoulders -- yes, that's one of the company's many brands -- above the competition.

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 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.