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 Prospect Capital (NASDAQ:PSEC).

The business development company declared its next four monthly distributions on Monday of last week, a day before posting fresh financials. Prospect Capital will be increasing its rate every month -- yes, it pays monthly distributions -- from June through at least September.

Terra Nitrogen (NYSE:TNH) is also helping things grow. The maker of nitrogen fertilizer products declared a quarterly distribution of $4.68 a unit, and that's a 29% increase over its prior disbursement. With earnings and sales improving during the first three months of the year, it's making more than enough to cover the hefty declaration.

Plum Creek Timber (UNKNOWN:PCL.DL) knows that it's the wood that makes it good. The private landowner with a whopping 6.3 million acres of timberlands is growing its quarterly dividend by 5% to $0.44 a share.

"Paying a reliable and attractive dividend to our shareholders is one of the most direct and transparent means we have of delivering shareholder value," Plum Creek Timber's CEO is quoted as saying in the press release.

He's right, but some would argue that the company's 3.4% yield is no match for the roughly 25% pop in the shares over the past year.

Finally, we have j2 Global (NASDAQ:JCOM) keeping a welcome streak alive. The provider of Internet services declared a quarterly distribution of $0.24 a share. This may be a mere 3% uptick, but j2 has come through with rate hikes in each of the past seven quarters. The total increase over the course of that run is a solid 20% advance.

Checks and balances
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