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 these past few days.

We can start with Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI).

It's been 127 years since the company invented the electric room thermostat, but these days the company is heating up its payouts. The new quarterly rate of $0.19 a share is a 6% improvement over its earlier rate.

Sysco (NYSE:SYY) is also serving up heartier portions. The food-service leader is increasing its quarterly dividend 4% to $0.28 a share. This is something that investors should be used to by now. Sysco has managed to prop up its yield 44 times since 1970.

Primerica (NYSE:PRI) makes a living out of encouraging mainstream families to embrace investing, but now it's making its own stock more enticing. Primerica's boosting its quarterly disbursements 29% to $0.09 a share.

Finally, we have National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) gushing. The maker of equipment and components used in the oil and gas industry is going from sending shareholders $0.12 a share every three months to a slightly better $0.13 a share.

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. A 30-day trial subscription will let you see if it's right for you.

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.