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

Readers of Income Investor 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 few days.

We'll start with Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK). The Charlotte-based utility is powering up its quarterly dividend by 4%, to $0.24 a share. That may not be much of a boost, but Duke Energy shareholders are now enjoying a healthy 6.7% yield. It's probably no surprise to learn that Duke is a Motley Fool Income Investor newsletter recommendation.

PetSmart (NASDAQ:PETM) isn't dogging it. The pet-care retailer's quarterly distributions are more than tripling, to $0.10 a share. The company also announced a $350 million share-repurchase plan, so clearly, PetSmart wants to return money to its investors in two different ways.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) is another booster. The company behind casual-dining chains like Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and LongHorn Steakhouse posted surprising growth last week, so shareowners will be treated to meatier portions. The restaurateur's quarterly payouts are increasing by 25% to $0.25 a share.

Finally, we have Prospect Capital (NASDAQ:PSEC) coming in with the smallest rate makeover of the week. Rising from $0.405 to $0.40625 a share every three months is clearly not the biggest of jumps, but Prospect has now increased its payout in each of the 19 quarters since it started paying dividends back in 2004. Yes, that's not a typo. Some investors are lucky to buy into companies that jack up their disbursements annually, but Prospect has managed to do so every three months.

Some of these moves may not seem like much, but consider the less savory moves that took place in recent days:

  • Peoples Financial (NASDAQ:PFBX) is the latest banking specialist to slash its dividend, in this case by a third of its earlier rate.
  • REIT Mission West Properties (NYSE:MSW) is heading south with its quarterly distributions, giving income-chasers a 25% haircut.
  • Office-furniture giant Steelcase (NYSE:SCS) may have topped Wall Street's expectations last week, but it's still cutting its dividend in half. That leaves the once-juicy high-yielding stock paying a more pedestrian 2.7% yield.

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 we're recommending 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.

PetSmart is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Duke Energy is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. 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 and 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.