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 Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO). The pop star is boosting its quarterly dividend by 8% to $0.41 a share. Shareholders are used to this kind of sugary sweetness from Coke. The beverage giant has increased its dividend for 47 consecutive years now.

Tim Hortons (NYSE:THI) is another hiker. Canada's largest publicly traded quick-service chain is coming through with an 11% upgrade on its disbursements. Investors will now be receiving the equivalent of $0.10 a share in Canadian dollars. Yes, not all restaurants are slumping these days.

Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW) is painting the town red for income investors. The paint behemoth's new quarterly distribution rate of $0.355 per share is a fractional improvement over its earlier $0.35 a share, but it keeps the company's 30-year streak of hikes alive. The fact that a home improvement company is sending more money to its shareowners -- during this abysmal housing slump -- is notable.

Finally, we have Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) on the move. The cable television leader is giving its quarterly payout an 8% boost to $0.0675 a share. The company may be susceptible to cost-conscious consumers cutting down on their cable subscriptions, but that's not stopping it from sending another half-penny to shareholders every quarter.

Some of these moves may not sound like much, but consider the companies going the other way last week:

  • New York Times (NYSE:NYT) and McClatchy (NYSE:MNI) are eliminating their dividends, as the iconic newspaper operators try to conserve their cash.
  • Broadcasting titan CBS (NYSE:CBS) is slashing its once-generous payout by a whopping 81%.

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.

Tim Hortons is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Sherwin-Williams 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.