Dividend checks continue to beef up in Corporate America, as more companies jack up their distribution rates.

Readers of the 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.

Let's start with Collectors Universe (Nasdaq: CLCT). Shares of the provider of authentication and grading services to collector enthusiasts hit a three-year high after jacking up its distributions. The new quarterly rate of $0.325 a share is an 8% upgrade. There's nothing wrong with the coins, sports cards, autographs, and stamps that the company helps value, but none of those investments crank out income. Collectors Universe, on the other hand, is now yielding a fat 8.2%.

RPM (NYSE: RPM) is also revving up its rate. The maker of specialty coatings, sealants, and building materials is increasing its quarterly dividend by 2% to $0.21 a share. It's not much, but it's also not a surprise. RPM has now boosted its yield in each of the past 37 years, and the announcements typically happen in early October.

If you think 37 years is an impressive streak, you're going to be blown away by Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE: NWN). It has jacked up its dividend 55 years in a row after last week's move -- improving its quarterly payouts by 5% to $0.435 a share.

Finally, we have West Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: WST) injecting a little more coinage into its shareholder income stream. The maker of stoppers, seals, and closures for the injectable drug industry is tapping the vein by growing its quarterly distributions by 6% to $0.17 a share. West Pharmaceuticals has now come through with 18 consecutive years of hikes.

It's encouraging to see companies improving their yields at a time when fixed income investments are on the floor. These four companies join regional banker Bank of the Ozarks (Nasdaq: OZRK), multi-purpose lubricant giant WD-40 (Nasdaq: WDFC), and wastewater specialist Artesian Resources (Nasdaq: ARTNA) in sending more of their money back to their shareowners in recent days.

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

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