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When selecting income investments, the three most important questions to answer are:

  1. Is the investment increasing its dividend each year?
  2. Is the increase likely to continue into the future?
  3. Are you being compensated for the risk you are taking?

When you answer yes to all three of the questions, you just might have found an excellent income investment. Below are several dividend stocks yielding 4%, or more, that recently rewarded their shareholders with increased cash dividends.

Campus Crest Communities, Inc. (NYSE:CCG), a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the ownership, development, building, and management of student housing properties under the Grove brand name in the United States. On Jan. 29, the company increased its quarterly dividend 3.1% to $0.66 per share. The dividend is payable on April 10, 2013, to all stockholders of record on March 27, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 5.5%.

Alliance Holdings GP, L.P. (NASDAQ:AHGP) produces and markets coal primarily to utilities and industrial users in the United States. It produces a range of steam coals with varying sulfur and heat contents. On Jan. 29, the partnership increased it quarterly distribution 2.8% to $0.74 per unit. The distribution is payable Feb. 19, 2013, to unitholders of record as of the close of trading on Feb. 12, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 5.9%.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CNP) operates as a public utility holding company. On Jan. 25, the company increased its quarterly dividend 2.5% to $0.2075 per share. The dividend is payable on March 8, 2013, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Feb. 15, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 4.1%.

CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE:CMS) operates as an energy company primarily in Michigan. On Jan. 25, the company increased its quarterly dividend 6% to $0.255 per share. The dividend is payable Feb. 28, 2013, to shareholders of record on Feb. 8, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 4.0%.

Below are several other companies that have recently increased their cash dividends to shareholders.

Apartment Investment and Management Company (NYSE:AIV) is a real estate investment manager that engages in the acquisition, ownership, management, and redevelopment of apartment properties. On Jan. 31, the company increased its quarterly dividend 26% to 0.24 per share. The dividend is payable Feb. 28, 2013, to stockholders of record on Feb. 15, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.5%.

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE:TWC) operates as a cable operator in the United States. On Jan. 31, the company increased its quarterly dividend 16% to $0.65 per share. The dividend is payable March 15, 2013, to stockholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 28, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.9%.

Tupperware Brands Corporation (NYSE:TUP) operates as a direct seller of various products across a range of brands and categories through an independent sales force worldwide. On Jan. 29, the company increased its quarterly dividend 72% to $0.62 per share. The dividend is payable April 5, 2013, to shareholders of record as of March 20, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.3%.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) provide insurance brokerage and risk management services to various commercial, industrial, institutional, and governmental organizations. On Jan. 24, the company increased its quarterly dividend 2.9% to $0.35 per share. The dividend is payable on March 20, 2013, to stockholders of record as of March 4, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.9%.

Selecting stocks with increasing dividends is critical for an income growth strategy. The above list contains stocks that recently raised their dividends; it is not a list of recommend buys. As always, due diligence should be performed before buying or selling any stock. For a list of stocks with a long string of consecutive cash dividend increases, click here.

Disclosure: No positions in the aforementioned securities. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

Source: 4 Higher-Yield Stocks Increasing Their Yield