I love to kick off the new trading week by peeking 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.

Let's start with Molson Coors Brewing (NYSE:TAP). The beer company is pouring out a new quarterly dividend of $0.20 a share, a 25% improvement over its earlier rate. The brewer points out that earnings have soared 75% since the merger of Molson and Coors three years ago, so why not let its shareholders in on the rewards?

Beer investors have a right to be spoiled, though. Rival giant Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD) has raised its dividend 31 consecutive years, with another bump higher likely this summer.

Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) was another page-turner on the payout front last week. The bookseller issued a big 67% increase in its quarterly distributions, now up to $0.25 a share. The company may need the money, since it also posted disappointing quarterly results and is reportedly exploring the purchase of rival Borders Group (NYSE:BGP). Meanwhile, cyberspace juggernaut Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) isn't getting any smaller.

Analog Devices (NYSE:ADI) is another dividend booster. The chip designer posted respectable gains on its top and bottom lines and prompted the company to raise its quarterly payout to $0.20 a share. Semiconductors can be cyclical, but there's no harm in enjoying the extra pocket change when it becomes available.

Finally, let's turn our ears to corn. Coming through with a 17% increase, Corn Products International (NYSE:CPO) will now be sending out checks to its shareholders for $0.14 a share every three months. The corn refiner turns the kernels into starch, high fructose corn syrup, and glucose, all while corn has been in the news lately as it relates to ethanol's impact on the corn supply.

Income Investor subscribers can appreciate 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 we're recommending these days? Give the service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing to get a boost will be your interest.