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 LINN Energy (Nasdaq: LINE). The long-life oil and natural gas specialist has seen its production surge 51% over the past year, and that's not the only thing moving higher. LINN's new quarterly dividend of $0.725 a share is a 5% improvement over its previous rate.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) is also computing meatier disbursements. Big Blue's new quarterly rate of $0.85 a share is a 13% boost for the tech bellwether. Investors should be used to this by now. IBM has now come through with 17 consecutive years of hikes. What's even more encouraging is that this is the ninth year in a row of double-digit percent increases for shareholders.

Southern Copper (Nasdaq: SCCO) is also handing over a few more copper pennies to its stakeholders. The Latin American copper producer declared a quarterly distribution of $0.53 a share, nearly tripling its earlier rate of $0.19 a share.

Finally we have ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) fueling up its quarterly checks. The oil behemoth's pumping up its distributions 21% to $0.57 a share. The move will result in ExxonMobil returning $10.7 billion to its investors over the next year, making the company the largest payer of dividends.

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 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.