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 Costco (NASDAQ:COST). The warehouse club operator is increasing its quarterly rate from $0.275 a share to $0.31 a share. Costco has a track record for generosity with both its shareholders and its employees. The retailer paid out a chunky one-time distribution of $7 a share late last year. Costco shares went on to hit an all-time high later in the week.

AmeriGas Partners (NYSE:APU) also fueled its disbursements. The country's largest retail propane marketer juiced up its quarterly dividend 5% to $0.84 per limited partnership unit. The move pushes the limited partnership's yield to a healthy 7.4%.

IBM (NYSE:IBM) is also taking care of business. The tech bellwether's push to boost its quarterly payouts 12% to $0.95 a share makes it 18 consecutive years of hikes. These haven't been token upticks, either. IBM's hikes have been double-digit percentage moves for 10 years in a row now.

IBM's board also authorized another $5 billion for stock buybacks, giving IBM another way to return more money to its stakeholders.

If you think IBM has a good streak going, check out PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP). The world's second-largest beverage company and the top dog in salty snacks through Frito-Lay has come through with 41 years of increases. Last week's move finds investors receiving $0.5675 a share every three months, 6% ahead of its earlier rate.

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.