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 Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL). From bars of Irish Spring soap to bags of Hill's Science Diet dog food, there's no escaping Colgate-Palmolive's treasure trove of brands while walking down the supermarket aisle. Now shareholders will have something more to look forward to in the form of meatier dividend checks. Colgate-Palmolive's quarterly rate is climbing 9% to $0.58 a share.

Genuine Parts (NYSE: GPC) is also revving up its payouts. The auto parts giant is accelerating the return of money to its investors through a 10% uptick in distributions. Shareholders will now be receiving $0.45 a share every three months. Genuine Parts has now pumped up its yield for 55 years in a row.

Owning gold may not pay direct dividends, but the same can't be said for snapping up a miner. Goldcorp (NYSE: GG) is the only mining company paying out monthly disbursements, and that rate is climbing 11% to $0.0333. The yield itself may seem paltry at less than 1%, but it's at least something to offset the volatility in gold prices.

Finally we have CME Group (Nasdaq: CME) on the move. The derivatives marketplace operator is boosting its quarterly payouts by 22% to $1.40 a share. Sector consolidation in CME's trade is simply a speculative bonus.

An improving economy is giving more companies the flexibility to prop up their yields. These four companies join retailers Gap (NYSE: GPS) and Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) in boosting their disbursements. Discounter Kohl's (NYSE: KSS) actually initiated a dividend policy last Thursday! This is a pretty encouraging trend for that industry. 

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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