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 General Electric (NYSE: GE).

Bringing good yields to life, the major conglomerate juiced up its quarterly dividend by 13% to $0.17 a share. GE has gone on to increase its disbursements four times over the past two years since stunning investors with a dramatic rate cut in February 2009.

Bristol Myers-Squibb (NYSE: BMY) is also prescribing a heavier dose of distributions. The drugmaker is increasing its rate by a mere $0.01 a share to $0.34 a share, but the move does push Bristol Myers-Squibb's yield above 4%.

A week after posting better-than-expected quarterly results, Hillenbrand's (NYSE: HI) dividend is showing signs of life. The funeral products and processing equipment manufacturer is inching its dividend 1% higher to $0.1925 a share.

Finally we have medical products giant Stryker (NYSE: SYK) striking with a quarterly rate of $0.2125 a share, an 18% improvement over its previous payout. Stryker also upped the ante by announcing an additional $500 million share buyback.

These companies join health and nutrition specialist Balchem (Nasdaq: BCPC) and tax return preparer H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) in recently jacking up their yields. Automaker Ford (NYSE: F) also reinitiated its dividend policy after a nearly six-year lapse.

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.

If you want to track these stocks to see if and when they hike their payouts again, consider adding them to MyWatchlist.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.