I love to kick off the new trading week by taking a quick peek at companies that have just increased 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.

Let's start with FactSet Research Systems (NYSE: FDS). The investing-community data specialist raised its quarterly dividend by 50% to $0.18 a share. The company has grown its disbursements at a 29% annualized clip since 1999.

Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) is also shining brighter for income investors. Record gold prices are helping more than just the company's bottom line: Healthy growth also has the Canadian gold producer increasing its payout by 33%. Shareholders will now be receiving $0.20 a share every six months.

The gold-mine companies would rather be yielding precious metals than fat dividend checks. Barrick, Goldcorp (NYSE: GG), AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU), and Newmont (NYSE: NEM) all sport yields of less than 1%. Then again, those are higher distributions than if you actually owned the gold coins, especially if you believe that further price increases will benefit the producers even more.

PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) is another dividend booster. The soda-and-salty-snacks titan is giving its quarterly dividend a 13% pop to $0.425 a share. Investors shouldn't be surprised by PepsiCo's gesture. The company has now boosted its yield in each of the past 36 years.

Finally, we have SCP Pool (Nasdaq: POOL) making a splash. The wholesale distributor of pool equipment is diving in with a new $0.13-per-share quarterly rate. Even though that's just a $0.01-per-share improvement, it's refreshing to see that a company tied to the state of the housing market -- even if only loosely -- is doing well by its shareowners.

Subscribers to the Income Investor newsletter service can appreciate the companies sending more and more money to their investors. The 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 an increase will be your interest.