I love to kick off the new trading week by taking a quick 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 closer look at four of the companies that inched their payouts higher over the past week.

Let's start with Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD). The giant brewer is giving its quarterly dividend a 12% boost to $0.37 a share. The company has now raised its disbursements in each of the past 32 years. Set to be acquired by InBev, this should be the last time that the company taps that particular keg.

Fortune Brands (NYSE:FO) is another buzz booster. The distiller is coming through with a more modest 5% uptick. Investors will now be receiving $0.44 a share from Fortune every three months. The company has jacked up its yield for 12 consecutive years now.

Leading discount broker Charles Schwab (NASDAQ:SCHW) knows its way around bid-ask spreads, but it's giving shareowners an entirely new spread by propping up its quarterly distributions by 20% to $0.06 a share. The new 1.1% yield may not seem like much, but it's better than the total lack of dividends offered by peers like E*Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC) and TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD).

Ethan Allen Interiors (NYSE:ETH) is another topper. The furniture specialist's new quarterly payout is $0.25 a share, 14% better than its previous rate. Ethan Allen did post a sharp drop in profitability later in the week, but the company is still comfortable with returning more money to its shareholders.

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.

Anheuser-Busch is a former Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Charles Schwab is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz pays attention to yield signs. He does not own shares in any of the 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.