Not every company is slashing its dividend these days. Some of the market's better performers are easing up on their purse strings and sending more money out to their shareholders.

Readers of the Income Investor newsletter service can appreciate that kind of thinking. Let's take a closer look at four of the companies that inched their payouts higher last week.

Let's start with IBM (NYSE:IBM). The technology bellwether is increasing its quarterly dividend by 10% to $0.55 a share. The company's board has now boosted the company's distributions in each of the past 14 years.

Costco (NASDAQ:COST) isn't just putting more money into customers' pockets through warehouse-club discounts on bulk-sized products. The retailer is also making sure that its shareholders get in on the savings, by bumping up its quarterly disbursements by 13% to $0.18 a share.

Safeway (NYSE:SWY) is another topper. Like Costco, the conventional grocer is making the most of toiling in the all-weather niche of providing supermarket staples. Penny-pinching patrons may trade down to generic brands, but they still need to eat. Safeway's new payout rate of $0.10 a share every three months is a 21% improvement. That's a healthy upgrade, especially for a company that disappointed investors with its quarterly results last week.

Finally, we have ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) refueling its investors. Despite the falling price of crude oil, the market giant pumped up its quarterly dividend by 5% to $0.42 a share. ExxonMobil has now come through with 27 consecutive years of payout increases.  

Some of these moves may not seem like much, but consider the less savory moves that took place last week:

  • U.S. Steel (NYSE:X) and workbench regular Black & Decker (NYSE:BDK) dramatically lowered the value of their upcoming dividend checks.
  • Photography pioneer Eastman Kodak (NYSE:EK) suspended its distributions entirely.  

Subscribers to Income Investor are familiar with 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 service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing to get a boost will be your interest.

The Fool owns shares of Costco, which is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation and a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. 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.