Dividend checks continue to get fatter 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 Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT). The health-care giant is boosting its quarterly dividend by 9% to $0.48 a share. Investors should be used to this by now. Abbott Labs has cranked up its yield 39 years in a row.

Sherwin-Williams (NYSE: SHW) is also a slapping on a thicker coat of distributions. The paint maker's new quarterly rate of $0.365 a share is just half a penny ahead of its previous payout, but this is Sherwin-Williams' follow-up to 32 consecutive years of increasing yields.

Trumping both Abbott and Sherwin-Williams, Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) is stretching its streak of annual hikes to 49 years. The pop star's boosting its dividend by 7% to $0.47 a share paid out every three months. Coca-Cola also returned more than $3 billion to its investors through share repurchases last year.

Finally, we have T. Rowe Price (Nasdaq: TROW) managing its capital outflows. The mutual fund operator with $482 billion in assets under management is jacking up its quarterly distributions by 15%, to $0.31 a share. T. Rowe Price has come through with a chunkier yield in each of the past 25 years.

An improving economy is giving more companies the flexibility to prop up their yields. These four companies join Asian restaurateur P.F. Chang's (Nasdaq: PFCB), tobacco giant Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI), and health-care REIT Ventas (NYSE: VTR) in escalating their already generous disbursements.

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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