I love to kick off the new trading week by taking a quick peek at companies that have just raised 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 appreciate that kind of thinking. So let's review four of the companies that inched their payouts higher over the past week.

Let's start with Stanley Works (NYSE:SWK). The security and tools specialist lived up to its name when it jacked up its quarterly dividend by 3% to $0.33 a share. If the increase appears puny, consider that Stanley Works has bumped up its yield in each of the past 42 years. In other words, a little bit adds up over time.

Sweeter payouts? They're grrrrr-eat for Kellogg (NYSE:K) investors. The cereal thriller is now distributing $0.375 a share to shareholders every quarter. Three months ago, Kellogg's disbursements were only $0.34 a share.

Lindsay (NYSE:LNN) is another booster. The maker of road barriers and irrigation systems knows a thing or two about yield signs. Lindsay's new quarterly rate of $0.08 a share is 7% higher than its previous payout.

Finally, we have CARBO Ceramics (NYSE:CRR) breaking the mold. The world's leading provider of ceramic proppant is increasing its quarterly dividend by 6% to $0.18 a share.

Some of these increases may not seem like much, but consider the companies headed the other way. Barnes Group (NYSE:B), Lakeland Bancorp (NASDAQ:LBAI), and Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ:ZION) all slashed their yields last week.

Subscribers to the Income Investor know all about companies that send more and more money to their investors. The 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 Income Investor a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing to get an increase will be your interest.

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The Fool owns shares of Lindsay. 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.