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 Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ). The printing and computing giant boosted its quarterly dividend 50% to $0.12 a share. The tech giant also expressed its goal to deliver annual hikes in the double-digit percentage range in future years.

Jarden's (NYSE: JAH) distributions are also percolating. The company behind Mr. Coffee java brewers and Coleman camping products is heating up its quarterly rate by 5% to $0.08625. Jarden didn't begin paying out dividends until 2009, but it's off to a good start with back-to-back years of increases.

Regulators gave some of the healthiest major banks the green light to return more money to their shareholders on Friday, and US Bancorp (NYSE: USB) didn't waste any time. The parent of U.S. Bank will now be sending shareholders $0.125 a share every three months, 150% ahead of its previous rate. It's also returning money to investors through a 50 million share buyback announcement.

Finally we have Patterson (Nasdaq: PDCO) smiling kindly on its shareowners. The maker of dental and veterinary products is cranking up its quarterly disbursements by 20% to $0.12 a share.

These four companies join programmable platform provider Xilinx (Nasdaq: XLNX) and monthly REIT income distributor Realty Income (NYSE: O) in improving their payouts. Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) also finally initiated a dividend policy last week!  

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.

Add Hewlett-Packard, Jarden, US Bancorp, and Patterson to My Watchlist today and get all the latest news on them now and in the future.

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

Xilinx is a Motley Fool Big Short short-sale selection. The Fool has created a bull call spread position on Cisco Systems. Motley Fool Alpha LLC owns shares of Cisco Systems. 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.