Dividend checks continue to get fatter in Corporate America, as more companies jack up their distribution rates. Readers of the Income Investor newsletter service can certainly appreciate that kind of action. Let's take a closer look at some of the companies that inched their payouts higher these past few days.

We can start with Disney (NYSE:DIS). The family-entertainment giant is boosting its annual dividend by 20% to $0.75 a share. Disney has been able to deliver steady growth through its ESPN-led cable properties, but its theme parks are also starting to show signs of life these days.

Like so many other companies, Disney's also moving the disbursement's payable data -- which has historically been in early January -- to late December, to give investors a kinder tax bite.

Merck (NYSE:MRK) is also upping the dose on its distributions. The pharmaceuticals giant with a presence in 140 countries is pumping up its rate by 2%. Shareholders will now receive $0.43 a share every three months.

Financial Institutions (NASDAQ:FISI) is another one generating higher interest for its stakeholders. The company behind New York's Five Star Bank and Five Star Investment Services is ramping up its quarterly dividend 14% to $0.16 a share.

Finally, we have McCormick (NYSE:MKC) spicing things up. The spice giant is bumping its quarterly rate 10% higher to $0.34 a share. Investors should be used to this by now. McCormick has come through with fatter dividend declarations for 27 years in a row.

Checks and balances
Income Investor subscribers like companies that send more and more money to their investors. The newsletter identifies 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.

The Dow is another place where yield chasers come for big payouts, but you don't want to buy all 30 stocks that make up the index. A new report highlights the three Dow companies that dividend investors need to own. It's a free report, so click here to check it out now. 

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.