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Numerous research projects have shown that a conservative dividend-growth-based investment strategy has consistently outperformed the market over time. My goal as a dividend growth stocks investor is to build a steadily increasing income, not necessarily to outperform the market via capital gains. But given the choice, I certainty don't mind having both.

Below are four dividend stocks building shareholder returns with higher cash dividends:

Sovran Self Storage, Inc. (SSS) operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) engaged in the acquisition, ownership, and management of self-storage properties in the United States. On July 2 the company increased its quarterly dividend 10.4% to $0.53 per share. The dividend is payable on July 26, 2013, to shareholders of record on July 12, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.2%.

Molex Incorporated (MOLX) engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of electronic components worldwide. On July 1 the company increased its quarterly dividend 9% to $0.24 per share. The dividend is payable on July 25, 2013, to stockholders of record on June 28, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.2%.

Matson, Inc. (MATX) operates as an ocean freight carrier in the Pacific. On June 27 the company increased its quarterly dividend 6.7$ to $0.16 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 5, 2013, to all shareholders of record as of the close of business on Aug. 1, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.5%.

Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (GBCI) operates as holding company for Glacier Bank, which provides commercial banking services. On June 27 the company increased its quarterly dividend 7% to $0.15 per share. The dividend is payable on July 18, 2013, to owners of record on July 9, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.6%.

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, see this list.

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

Source: 4 Dividend Stocks Building Shareholder Returns