I love to kick off the new trading week by taking a quick peek at companies that have just increased 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 Motley Fool Income Investor newsletter can certainly appreciate that kind of thinking. (Click on the newsletter link to join the dividend-seekers.) Let's take a closer look at four of the companies that inched their payouts higher over the past week.

Let's start with Altria (NYSE:MO). The beer and cigarettes giant is giving its shareholders a little more money to feed their vices. Its quarterly dividend is growing 10%, to $0.32 a share. The move finds Altria sporting a robust yield of 6.1%.

I guess it runs in the family, since Altria spinoff Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) also just announced a higher payout.

H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) is another hiker. The tax preparation company is bumping up its quarterly distributions by 5%, to $0.15 a share. The company may have had its hiccups in recent years, but it has still managed to increase its payout in 11 consecutive years.

Industrial communications heavy Harris (NYSE:HRS) is also opening up with its investors. The company is committed to returning a fifth of its profits to its shareowners, and that includes bumping its dividend by 33%. Harris now pays shareholders $0.20 a share every three months.The 1.5% yield may not seem like much, but that's better than other companies servicing military high-tech needs, such as iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) and AeroVironment (NASDAQ:AVAV), that are so early in their growth cycles that they have never paid a dividend.

Finally, we have Joy Global (NASDAQ:JOYG) earning its "be mine" candy heart. The surface mining specialist is propping up its quarterly rate by 17%, to $0.175 a share.

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 free 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing that will get hiked will be your interest.

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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.