After a year full of dividend slashing, more and more companies are committed to sending more money out to their shareholders in 2010.

Readers of the Motley Fool Income Investor newsletter service can get behind that kind of action. Let's take a closer look at some of the companies that inched their payouts higher this past week.

Let's start with FactSet Research Systems (NYSE: FDS). The financial-research specialist knows investors well enough to realize that they enjoy fatter dividend checks. FactSet's new quarterly rate of $0.23 a share is a 15% improvement.

Clorox (NYSE: CLX) is bleaching out its scrawnier yield. The home-products giant is boosting its quarterly payout by 10% to $0.55 a share. On an annual basis, Clorox's distributions have risen every year since 1977.

Military contractor Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) is also arming its shareholders with more coinage. Investors will now be on the receiving end of $0.47 a share every three months, 9% ahead of its most recent distributions.

Finally, we have Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) juicing up its dividend. The utility provider of electricity and natural gas is inching its quarterly rate 3% higher to $0.2525 a share. Xcel's goal is to bump its payouts 2% to 4% higher every year, and it landed smack-dab in the middle of that range this time.  

Companies are starting to return more of their money to their investors, and shareholders aren't likely to complain. Grocery-store chain Safeway (NYSE: SWY), semiconductor specialist Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI), and department-store operator Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) have also boosted their distributions in recent days.

Subscribers to Income Investor can appreciate the companies that send more and more money to their investors. The newsletter service seeks out companies that are committed to growing their distributions with market-thumping results.

Want to see what's being recommended 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.

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