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 Applied Materials (AMAT -0.91%).

The semiconductor giant with a presence in everything from solar panels to smartphones is feeling a bit more generous. Applied Materials is increasing its quarterly dividend 11% to $0.10 a share.

Applied Materials is good for the money. Sure, analysts see revenue and profitability slipping this year, but the tech bellwether is still expected to earn $0.61 a share this year before bouncing back to $1.06 a share come 2014.

Devon Energy (DVN 0.77%) is also fueling up its quarterly distributions. The oil and gas explorer's new rate is climbing 10% to $0.22 a share every three months.

Devon Energy shareholders shouldn't be surprised by the move. The independent energy company has come through with eight increases since 2004.

Main Street Capital (MAIN 0.21%) declared monthly dividends for April, May, and June of $0.155 a share apiece. This represents an increase of 3% over the current quarter's rate and a heartier 11% spike over last year's disbursements during that second quarter.

Finally, we have Xilinx (XLNX) giving tech investors something to cheer about. Just like Devon Energy, the provider of integrated circuits and other programmable solutions has now come through with eight payout hikes since 2004. Xilinx's move last week pushes its quarterly rate 14% higher to $0.25 a share.

Checks and balances
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