I love to kick off the new trading week with a peek at companies that have just hiked dividends. It's not only 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 like 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 Tiffany (NYSE: TIF). The jeweler's quarterly dividend is inching 13% higher to $0.17 a share. The retailer also raised its guidance for the current quarter. The cheery outlook comes despite recent weakness at online jeweler Blue Nile (NYSE: NILE). In other words, despite the dicey economy, some chains are still selling big-ticket bling.

Yield chasers can also remove their gas masks. Mine Safety (NYSE: MSA) -- a company that makes thermal imaging cameras, gas masks, and protective gear -- is raising its rate by 9%. Investors will now get $0.24 a share every three months.

Clorox (NYSE: CLX) is another hiker. The company behind the namesake bleach, as well as other supermarket staples like Hidden Valley salad dressing, Kingsford charcoal, and KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce, is giving its quarterly distributions a 15% kick to $0.46 a share. Clorox will also use its considerable free cash flow to pay down its debt and repurchase shares.

Finally, we have Safeway (NYSE: SWY) checking in through the express lane. Remember when supermarkets' popularity faded as organic grocers and warehouse clubs became the rave? Well, in the same week Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI) proved mortal with a lackluster report, Safeway announced a 20% spike to its payout. Shareholders will now be on the receiving end of checks for $0.0828 a share every quarter.

Subscribers to the Income Investor newsletter can appreciate the companies that send 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's recommended today? Go ahead and give the newsletter service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing to get hiked will be your interest.