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 Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

The utility giant's quarterly disbursements are ascending 2% to $0.255 a share. It may not seem like much of an increase, but Duke Energy has come through with annual boosts every year since 2007. That's perhaps not coincidentally around the same time that the company completed its acquisition of Cinergy.

In other words, shareholders should expect the increases to continue even as it completes its acquisition of Progress Energy this week.

General Mills (NYSE: GIS) is also a "cereal" hiker. The company behind breakfast cereals, Yoplait yogurt, and other edibles pushed through an 8% upgrade to its quarterly distributions. The company's new rate of $0.33 every three months should come in handy as stockholder patience was tested later in the week after General Mills issued a disappointing outlook.

Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR) is also kicking in with an 8% boost. The metals manufacturer's new quarterly rate is $0.13 a share.

Finally we have Kayne Anderson Energy Development (NYSE: KED) also energizing its payout. The energy industry investor's new quarterly dividend of $0.41 a share is a 5% uptick from Kayne's earlier yield.

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.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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