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 the Motley Fool Income Investor newsletter can certainly appreciate that kind of thinking. Let's take a closer look at some of the companies that inched their payouts higher this past week.

We'll start with 3M (NYSE:MMM). The innovative conglomerate, which applies itself through 40 different technology platforms, is pumping up its quarterly dividend by 3% to $0.525 a share. 3M has now increased its distributions in each of the past 52 years.

American Science & Engineering (NASDAQ:ASEI) is also leaving more change in investors' pockets. Despite posting lumpy earnings last week, the maker of X-ray inspection equipment still came through with a 50% payout boost. Its new rate will be $0.30 a share every three months.

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE:BIP) is also fueling its disbursements. The multidimensional limited partnership with interests in everything from coal to timber is jacking up its quarterly dividend by 4% to $0.275 a share. Given the company's adjusted net operating income trends, Brookfield believes that it can prop up its yield by 3% to 7% annually.

Finally, we have United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) flying higher. The aerospace giant's new quarterly payout is $0.425 a share, a 10% improvement.

"This dividend increase demonstrates our confidence in UTC's financial strength and in our ability to continue to deliver outstanding performance in 2010 and beyond," CEO Louis Chenevert claims. It's hard to disagree.

Some of these moves may not seem like much, but plenty of companies haven't been able to support even their current dividends lately. Parkway Properties (NYSE:PKY) and Hercules Technology Growth Capital (NASDAQ:HTGC) slashed their quarterly payouts.

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? Go ahead and give the newsletter service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing to get hiked will be your interest.

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and 3M are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. American Science & Engineering is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. The Fool owns shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, which is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation and a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick. 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.