I love to kick off the new trading week by looking at a few companies that have just raiseed 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 certainly appreciate that kind of thinking. 

Let's take a closer peek at four of the companies that inched their payouts higher over the past week.

Let's start with Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE). The company behind supermarket staples such as Ball Park hot dogs, Hillshire Farm sausages, and its namesake desserts boosted its quarterly dividend by 5% to $0.11 a share. The company has been declaring regular distributions for more than 60 years.

Utah Medical Products (NASDAQ:UTMD) is also checking in with a healthier yield. Its new quarterly rate of $0.23 a share is a mere 2% advance, but the company's dividend is now 53% higher than it was four years ago.

Sure, the maker of disposable and reusable medical devices may not offer the same earnings growth octane as sexier health-care darlings such as Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) or Hansen Medical (NASDAQ:HNSN), but Utah Medical Products is sporting a chunky 3.4% yield.

Questar (NYSE:STR) is another dividend booster, but what else is new? The natural-gas specialist has bumped up its payout in 35 of the past 36 years. Shareowners will now be receiving $0.125 a share every three months, a 2% upgrade over its most recent rate.

Finally, we have Vectren (NYSE:VVC) bringing the power. The energy company is juicing up its quarterly dividend by 3% to $0.335 a share. The company has now increased its payouts in each of the past 49 years.

Subscribers to Income Investor can appreciate the 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's being recommended these days? Give the newsletter service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing to get a boost will be your interest.

Intuitive Surgical and Hansen Medical are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz pays attention to yield signs. He owns no 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.