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 Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE: CODI). The company owns middle market businesses. It's an eclectic portfolio covering everything from printed circuit boards to premium suspension products and home safes. The real draw here is the chunky dividend, and Compass is boosting it 6% to $0.36 a share every three months. This is the fourth hike since the company went public five years ago. Compass now yields a meaty 9.4%.

Tyco (NYSE: TYC) is a much larger conglomerate with a much smaller yield, yet it too is getting more generous with its distributions. Tyco's quarterly rate is climbing 19% to $0.25 a share.

Medallion Financial (Nasdaq: TAXI) is also hailing fatter disbursements. The taxicab medallion financing specialist is bumping its quarterly payout 7% higher to $0.16 a share. This may seem like a risky place for a creditor, but only 1.2% of Medallion's loans are more than 90 days past due -- cab drivers can tell you what happens if you keep the meter running. Medallion Financial has declared $9.86 a share in dividends since going public 15 years ago, and that sum's more than it's current share price.

Finally we have Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) fueling its distributions. The Charlotte, N.C.-based company with more than a million natural gas customers is inching its rate 4% higher to $0.29 a share. Piedmont has now come through with 33 consecutive years of increases.

These four companies join semiconductor giant Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT), fragrance maker InterParfums (Nasdaq: IPAR), and A/C specialist Lennox (NYSE: LII) in improving their 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 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.

Do higher dividends matter to you? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Piedmont Natural Gas is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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.