I love to kick off the new trading week by taking a quick peek at companies that have just hiked their dividends. It's not just about the money. A company that is easing up on its pocketbook probably has improving fundamentals to back up that generosity.

Readers of the Income Investor newsletter can certainly appreciate that kind of thinking. Let's take a closer look at four of the companies that inched their payouts higher this past week.

We'll start with Kellogg (NYSE:K). Shareholders of the Frosted Flakes maker, which has paid uninterrupted dividends since 1925, are feeling "grrrrrreat" with an extra spoonful of pocket change. The food giant raised its quarterly distributions by 6.5% to $0.31 a share.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is another hiker. The drugmaker and consumer goods conglomerate propped up its payout by 11%. Investors will now be receiving $0.415 a share every three months. And the "no more tears" company doesn't mess around; it has boosted its dividend for 45 consecutive years now.

Marriott (NYSE:MAR) is also checking in with a higher yield. The hotelier's new quarterly rate is moving 20% higher to $0.075. The lodging industry has been pretty resilient lately, and it only makes sense to cut shareowners in on the penthouse party fun.

Then we have Legg Mason (NYSE:LM). Mutual funds are hot and so is Legg Mason. Its quarterly disbursements are climbing 14% higher to $0.24 per share. The company has now increased its dividend for 27 years in a row.

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.

Want to see what is being recommended these days? Go ahead and give the newsletter service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing that will get hiked will be your interest.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz pays attention to yield signs. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. Johnson & Johnson is an Income Investor recommendation. Legg Mason is an Inside Value selection. The Fool has a disclosure policy.