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 Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF). After disclosing a strategy favoring organic pipeline growth, Cliffs jacked up its quarterly dividend 123% to $0.625 a share. The move props up the stock's yield to nearly 3.5%.

BB&T (NYSE: BBT) juiced up its quarterly distributions 25% to $0.20 a share. The North Carolina-based banker was one of a few financial services players bumping their payouts higher after holding up well against regulator stress tests.

Xilinx (Nasdaq: XLNX) is also on the move. The provider of programmable platforms is improving its rate by 16%. Shareholders will now be receiving $0.22 a share every three months.

Finally, we have Air Products (NYSE: APD) keeping an enviable streak alive. The atmospheric, process, and specialty gas specialist's call to move its quarterly disbursements 10% higher to $0.64 a share marks 30 years in a row that Air Products has delivered payout boosts.

Checks and balances
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 My Watchlist.

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.