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 Motley Fool 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 PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG). The paint and chemical specialist boosted its quarterly dividend to $0.53 a share. It may be only a penny more on a per-share basis, but PPG has now increased its yield for 37 consecutive years.

VF Corp. (NYSE:VFC) is also a nice fit for income chasers. The apparel company behind the Wrangler and Lee jeans in your closet is now delivering $0.59 a share to its shareowners every three months.

Like PPG, the increase is all of a copper penny. However, VF's move also keeps its own notable streak alive. The Income Investor recommendation has now propped up its disbursements in each of the past 36 years.

Matthews International (NASDAQ:MATW) is another hiker. The memorialization products and brand solutions company is giving its quarterly distributions an 8% lift to $0.065. Matthews has come through with 14 payout hikes since going public in 1994.

Finally, we have Chase Corp. (AMEX:CCF) coming through with a big upgrade to its annual dividend, jacking it up by 40% to $0.35 a share. No, the company has no relation to JPMorgan Chase's (NYSE:JPM) banking arm. This is CEO Peter Chase's manufacturer of tapes, laminates, sealants, and coatings.

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 which stocks are 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.

VF Corp., PPG Industries, and JPMorgan Chase are Motley Fool Income Investor recommendations. 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.