Updated from 6:32 a.m. EST

More than a dozen stocks increased their dividends last week and, surprisingly, in the current financial crunch, a few of them were bank stocks. When a company raises its dividend payout, the action serves as a powerful statement that the company believes it'll deliver strong earnings in the future.

Stockpickr has reviewed the stocks that just increased their dividends and came up with

the top dividend raisers for the week

.

One of the companies that boosted its payout is

RPC

(RES) - Get Report

, which raised its quarterly dividend by 20% to 6 cents a share. The Atlanta-based oilfield services company also just reported a 16% increase in fourth-quarter revenue but a 31% drop in profits due to increased competition. The stock has a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 12 and a yield of 2.4%.

RPC also appears in

Fastest-Growing Stocks

, a Stockpickr portfolio that also lists

Dynamic Materials

(BOOM) - Get Report

, which produces clad-metal plates and welding services and has a yield of 0.3%,

Commercial Metals

(CMC) - Get Report

, with a yield of 1.9%, and

Frontier Oil

( FTO), with a yield of 0.6%.

Another recent dividend raiser is

Polaris Industries

(PII) - Get Report

, which increased its quarterly payout by 12% to 38 cents a share. This manufacturer of all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and motorcycles also also posted a 16% rise in fourth-quarter profits and increased its stock-repurchase program by another 3.5 million shares. The stock has a P/E of 15, a P/E-to-growth (PEG) ratio of 1 and a yield of 3.8%.

Polaris is a stock owned by

First Trust Value Line Dividend

, the first closed-end fund to be turned into an exchange-traded fund. The fund also owns shares of

ConocoPhillips

(COP) - Get Report

, which has a yield of 2.2%,

Telecom Corp. of New Zealand

( NZT), which yields 8%, and

Plum Creek Timber

(PCL)

at 4%.

Filtration systems manufacturer

Donaldson

(DCI) - Get Report

also raised its quarterly dividend last week, by 10% to 11 cents a share. The payment marks the company's 210th consecutive quarterly cash dividend, which it has paid over the last 52 years. The stock has a P/E of 21, a PEG of 1.5 and a yield of 1.1%.

Donaldson also shows up in the portfolio of

Columbia Acorn Fund

, a five-star Morningstar-rated fund that also holsds shares of

Expeditors International of Washington

(EXPD) - Get Report

, which offers a yield of 0.6%,

Abercrombie & Fitch

(ANF) - Get Report

, with a 0.9% yield, and

Eaton Vance

(EV) - Get Report

, with a 1.7% yield.

To see more stocks with freshly raised dividends, check out the

Top Dividend Increasers for the Week Ending Jan. 26

at Stockpickr.com.

At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

James Altucher is president of

Stockpickr

LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs a fund of hedge funds. He is also a weekly columnist for the

Financial Times

and the author of

Trade Like a Hedge Fund

,

Trade Like Warren Buffett

and

SuperCa$h

. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback;

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to send him an email.

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