As a dividend investor, I always make note of companies that recently raised their payouts. I do this for two reasons. First, I like to stay as informed as possible. Second, a dividend hike may introduce me to a company that I’ve never heard of or researched before, giving me the opportunity to learn about the company, dig deeper into its financials, and maybe even become a shareholder.

With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at three companies that raised their dividends last week.

1. Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (TSX:AQN) is one of North America’s largest owners and operators of renewable power generation facilities and sustainable utility distribution businesses. Its subsidiaries include Algonquin Power Company and Liberty Utilities.

In its first-quarter earnings report on May 12, it announced a 10% hike to its dividend to US$0.1059 per share quarterly, or US$0.4235 per share annually, and this gives its stock a yield of about 4.8% at today’s levels.

Investors must also make the following two notes.

First, Algonquin’s two dividend hikes since the start of 2015, including the one noted above and its 10% hike in May 2015, have it on pace for 2016 to mark the sixth consecutive year in which it has raised its annual dividend payment.

Second, the company has a long-term goal of raising its dividend by 10% annually, so I think its strong financial performance and its growing asset base will allow its streak of annual increases to continue for many years to come.

2. Enercare Inc.

Enercare Inc. (TSX:ECI) is one of Canada’s largest home and commercial services companies, providing water heaters, air conditioners, furnaces, and other HVAC rental products, protection plans, and related services. It’s also one of the country’s largest non-utility sub-metre providers for condominiums and apartment suites.

In its first-quarter earnings report on May 13, it announced a 10% increase to its dividend to $0.077 per share monthly, or $0.924 per share annually, and this gives its stock yield of about 5.7% at today’s levels.

Investors must also note that Enercare’s two dividend hikes since the start of 2015, including the one noted above and its 15.9% hike in March 2015, have it on pace for 2016 to mark the sixth consecutive year in which it has raised its annual dividend payment.

3. Power Corporation of Canada

Power Corporation of Canada (TSX:POW) is a diversified international management and holding company with interests in companies in the financial services, communications, and other business sectors. Its subsidiaries include Power Financial Corp., Power Energy, and Square Victoria Communications Group.

In its first-quarter earnings report on May 13, it announced a 7.6% increase to its dividend to $0.335 per share quarterly, or $1.34 per share annually, and this gives its stock a yield of about 4.6% at today’s levels.

Investors must also note that Power Corporation’s two dividend hikes since the start of 2015, including the one noted above and its 7.3% hike in May 2015, have it on pace for 2016 to mark the second consecutive year in which it has raised its annual dividend payment.

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Fool contributor Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned.